25.3 MB (2.0 MB compressed)
3650 x 2427 pixels
31.0 x 20.6 cm ⏐ 12.2 x 8.1 in (300dpi)
KARIM AGABI / EURELIOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY KARIM AGABI / EURELIOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Aurora australis or southern lights display over a researcher at a research station in Antarctica. Auroral displays are caused by interactions between energetic charged particles from the Sun and gas atoms and molecules about 100 kilometres up in the upper atmosphere. A stream of charged particles (the solar wind) flows out into space continuously from the Sun at speeds of 400- 500 kilometres per second. On reaching Earth, the charged particles are drawn by Earth's magnetic field to the poles, where they collide with the gas atoms and molecules, causing them to emit light. Photographed at Concordia Station, an Antarctic research station built in 2005.
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