Aurora borealis, Finland

Aurora borealis, Finland

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Credit: JUAN CARLOS CASADO (starryearth.com) / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Aurora borealis in the night sky over Finland, with a ski lift in the foreground. 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. This is a coronal auroral display. Photographed in Kaunispaa, in Finland, part of northern Lapland.

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