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Northern lights

Northern lights

C011/4193

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Credit

JEREMY WALKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JEREMY WALKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Northern lights. Time exposure photograph of the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, and star trails around the Pole star. The Northern Lights are created as electrically charged particles from the Solar wind are pulled in toward the magnetic poles by the Earth's magnetic field. As these particles collide with the atoms of gas in the ionosphere about 80km above the ground, they give the atoms energy and they become 'excited'. The atoms spontaneously release this energy in discrete amounts, resulting in particular colours of light being emitted. Photographed in the Swedish Arctic.

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