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JIM REED / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JIM REED / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Aurora. A man using a touch to indicate toward a rare burst of red aurora over Lake Wateree, South Carolina, USA. The aurora was triggered on October 29 2003 during a severe geomagnetic storm produced by one of the most powerful solar flares ever recorded. A solar flare occurs when magnetic radiation that has built up in the solar atmosphere is rapidly released as solar wind. The solar wind collides with the Earth's atmosphere at the north and south poles, causing a release of energy seen as coloured lights (aurora) in the sky.
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