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Aurora borealis, 19th century

Aurora borealis, 19th century

C015/7038

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Credit

KING'S COLLEGE LONDON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY KING'S COLLEGE LONDON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Aurora borealis. Bossekop, Norway. 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 'Traite d'electricite et de magnetisme' (1855) by French physicist Antoine Cesar Becquerel (1788-1878).

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