Aurora borealis

Aurora borealis

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Credit: JACK FINCH/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Aurora Borealis. View of the Aurora Borealis (northern lights) over spruce trees. The Aurora Borealis is visible as long blue/green streaks behind the clouds (centre). The aurora is caused by electrically charged particles which come from the Sun. When these particles approach Earth, they are guided by the Earth's magnetic field towards the poles. There they collide with the gases in the atmosphere hundreds of kilometres above the Earth's surface. It is these collisions which cause the airglow. The aurora is at its brightest after solar flares increase the volume of charged particles which bombard the Earth. Photographed in Fairbanks, Alaska, USA.

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Keywords: atmospheric phenomenon, aurora borealis display, aurorae, cloud, clouds, earth science, earth's atmosphere, effects, electromagnetic effect, northern lights, northern lights aurora display, sciences, sky

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