Northern Lights over Eldey Island, Iceland

Northern Lights over Eldey Island, Iceland

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Credit: BABAK TAFRESHI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Northern Lights over Eldey Island. Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) display over Eldey Island (centre right), Iceland. The Aurora Borealis is a coloured light display 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. Eldey Island was the last home of the now extinct Great Auk (Pinguinus impennis), which died out in the mid-19th Century.

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