Watching the aurora borealis

Watching the aurora borealis

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Credit: TOMMY ELIASSEN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Watching the aurora borealis. Silhouetted human figure watching the aurora borealis, a coloured light display (the northern lights) that is visible in the night sky 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. The arch of the Milky Way is also visible, and the aurora is reflected in the ice in the foreground. Photographed in Hemnesberget, Nordland, Norway.

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