Aurora borealis, Whitley Bay, UK

Aurora borealis, Whitley Bay, UK

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Credit: THOMAS HEATON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Aurora borealis, Whitley Bay. Rare view of northern lights over St Mary's Island, Whitley Bay, UK. The aurora borealis is a coloured light display (the northern lights) that is visible in the night sky, usually only at high latitudes. It occurs when charged and energetic particles from the Sun (the solar wind) are drawn by Earth's magnetic field to the polar regions. Hundreds of kilometres up, they collide with gas molecules and atoms, causing them to emit light. Photographed on 22 January 2012.

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Keywords: 2012, 21st century, 22 january 2012, astronomical, astronomy, aurora, aurora borealis, britain, british, coast, coastal, discharge, discharging, earth's magnetic field, england, english, europe, european, glow, glowing, light display, magnetism, meteorological, meteorology, night, night sky, northern lights, physical, physics, skyline, solar activity, solar storm, space weather, st mary's island, uk, united kingdom, whitley bay

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