52.5 MB (3.7 MB compressed)
5226 x 3510 pixels
44.2 x 29.7 cm ⏐ 17.4 x 11.7 in (300dpi)
JACK FINCH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JACK FINCH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Aurora borealis, the Northern Lights, photographed near Fairbanks, Alaska. Auroras are luminous displays that appear in the night sky at high latitudes; they form rays, bands, arcs, streamers & curtains, often coloured blue, red or green. They are caused by electrically charged subatomic particles from the Sun interacting with atoms & molecules in Earth's upper atmosphere (above about 100 km). The reason that they appear at high latitudes is that the particles from the Sun are concentrated over the poles by Earth's magnetic field.
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