SANFORD & AGLIOLO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SANFORD & AGLIOLO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Satellite dish. Artist's impression of a satellite communication dish antenna against a backdrop of an aurora. This type of large dish is used for global communication. Data is relayed from one ground station to another through geostationary satellites. Aurorae occur at high latitudes; in the North they are called the aurora borealis and the aurora australis in the South. They are caused by energetic charged particles from the Sun. These are drawn to the polar regions by the Earth's magnetic field. They collide with atoms in the atmosphere and energise them. The atoms rid themselves of this excitation by radiating the energy as light.
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