KING'S COLLEGE LONDON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY KING'S COLLEGE LONDON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Aurora borealis, 19th-century artwork. The aurora is a coloured light display visible in the night sky at high latitudes. It occurs when charged particles from the Sun 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 (beams in arc). Illustration from 'Electric science : its history, phenomena, and applications' (1853) by Frederick C. Bakewell.
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