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Aurora borealis

Aurora borealis

E115/0307

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39.2 MB (4.1 MB compressed)

3216 x 4263 pixels

27.2 x 36.1 cm ⏐ 10.7 x 14.2 in (300dpi)

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Credit

CHRIS MADELEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRIS MADELEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Aurora borealis over a satellite station. This coloured atmospheric light display (the northern lights) 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. Photographed near Churchill, Canada, in 2002.

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