Northern lights, Iceland

Northern lights, Iceland

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Credit: JEREMY WALKER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Northern lights, or Aurora Borealis, and a full Moon. 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 is from oxygen atoms. Photographed in Iceland.

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Keywords: astronomical, astronomy, atmospheric phenomenon, atmostphere, aurora borealis, aurorae, auroral, dark, electromagnetic, glow, glowing, green, iceland, light, magnetic, moon, night sky, night time, northern lights, oxygen emission, solar wind, space weather

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