Aurora borealis

Aurora borealis

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This image is part of the feature Around The World In 90 Minutes

Credit: NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Aurora borealis or northern lights display, seen from the International Space Station (ISS). This viewpoint allows study of the vertical variations in the aurorae. Auroral displays are caused by interactions between energetic charged particles from the Sun and the Earth's atmosphere. Moving at 400-500 kilometres a second, the charged particles of the solar wind are drawn by Earth's magnetic field to the poles, where they collide with gas atoms and molecules, causing them to emit light. Green light comes from oxygen atoms. The displays can be hundreds of kilometres above the Earth. The ISS orbits around 380 kilometres above the Earth. Photographed on 4 October 2001, over Canada.

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Keywords: 2001, 3, arctic, atmosphere, atmospheric phenomenon, aurora borealis, aurorae, canada, canadian, earth observation, earth science, earth's atmosphere, effects, electromagnetic effect, expedition three, from space, international space station, iss, magnetosphere, nature, night, night-time, northern lights, october, polar, satellite, sciences, solar activity, weather, wind

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