Credit: NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Animation showing the formation of aurorae on Earth. Aurorae are glowing bands in the night sky that occur when charged particles from the solar wind impact and ionise gases in the upper atmosphere. When there is a major solar storm the number of charged particles increases dramatically. These are deflected by the Earth's magnetic field (blue lines) and channeled towards the poles. The trailing tail of the Earth's magnetosphere contains large amounts of energy in the form of charged particles. These can undergo reconnection, meaning the field lines come together, which releases this energy (shown by a bright flash here), and channels the particles towards Earth, causing auroral storms.

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Keywords: 40 seconds or greater, active, activity, astronomical, astronomy, atmosphere, atmospheric, aurora, aurorae, auroral, corona, diagram, display, earth, education, educational, energetic, energy, field, field lines, glowing, ion, ionised, ionized, ions, magnetic, magnetosphere, maximum, planet, plasma, pole, poles, reconnecting, reconnection, science, solar, solar wind, space, star, storm, sun

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Aurora formation

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Duration: 00:00:49.1

Frame size: 1280x720

Frame rate: 29.97

Audio: No

Format: QuickTime, Photo JPEG 100%, progressive scan, square pixels

File size: 904.2M

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Capture format: QuickTime Animation

Codec: Photo - JPEG

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