Aurora Borealis over trees

Aurora Borealis over trees

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Credit: CHRIS MADELEY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Aurora Borealis sweeps over spruce trees in the Brooks Range, Northern Alaska. The Aurora Borealis (northern lights) is an atmospheric phenomenon that occurs at high latitudes, appearing as shimmering bands of coloured light in the sky. It occurs when charged particles in the solar wind are directed towards the poles by Earth's magnetic field. There they collide with atoms in the upper atmosphere, causing them to emit light. The colour of the light depends on the atmospheric gas involved. Green is produced by excited atomic oxygen. Photographed near Wiseman, Northern Alaska.

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Keywords: alaska, astronomical, astronomy, atmospheric phenomenon, atoms, aurora borealis, aurorae, auroral, band, bands, earth science, earth's atmosphere, effects, electromagnetic effect, gas, glow, green, home, ionised, ionising, light, magnetic, molecules, natural, night sky, north america, north american, northern lights, oxygen, particles, physical, physics, plant, polar regions, sciences, sky, skyline, spruce trees

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