Aurora australis and Milky Way

Aurora australis and Milky Way

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Credit: ALEX CHERNEY, TERRASTRO.COM/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Aurora australis and Milky Way, over the Southern Ocean. The aurora (on horizon) is a coloured light display visible in the night sky at high latitudes. It occurs when charged particles from the Sun are drawn by Earth's magnetic field to the polar regions. Hundreds of kilometres up, they collide with gas atoms and molecules, causing them to emit light. At left is the Milky Way, the band of billions of stars that is our galaxy seen from the inside. Photographed on 22 January 2012, near Flinders on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia.

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Keywords: 2012, 21st century, 22 january 2012, astronomical, astronomy, astrophysical, astrophysics, atmospheric phenomenon, aurora, aurora australis, aurorae, australia, australian, coast, coastal, flinders, glow, horizon, january, light, maximum, milky way, mornington peninsula, night sky, ocean, polar, rising, rocks, rocky, sea, solar activity, solar wind, southern, southern hemisphere, southern ocean, space weather, starry, stars, victoria

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