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Glowing gasses seen above a planet's magnetic poles when charged particles in the solar wind collide with atoms in the planet's upper atmosphere.

On Earth, they are found in the Northern Hemisphere (Aurora Borealis) or the Southern Hemisphere (Aurora Australis). The colours are produced by electrified oxygen and nitrogen atoms [1].

They are most dramatic when solar activity reaches it's peak.

Video of the Aurora Australis taken by the crew of Expedition 28 on board the International Space Station. This sequence of shots was taken September 17, 2011 from 17:22:27 to 17:45:12 GMT, on an ascending pass from south of Madagascar to just north of Australia over the Indian Ocean.
Video of the Aurora Australis taken by the crew of Expedition 28 on board the International Space Station. This sequence of shots was taken September 7, 2011 from 17:38:03 to 17:49:15 GMT, from the French Southern and Antarctic Lands in the South Indian Ocean to southern Australia.
Video of the Aurora Australis taken by the crew of Expedition 28 on board the International Space Station. This sequence of shots was taken September 11, 2011 from 13:45:06 to 14:01:51 GMT, from a descending pass near eastern Australia, rounding about to an ascending pass to the east of New Zealand.

References

  1. ^ Baumann, Mary K.; Will Hopkins, Loralee Nolletti, Michael Soluri, Steven Hawking (foreword) and Ray Villard (astronomy consultant) (2007). Cosmos: Images From Here to the Edge of the Universe. London: Duncan Baird Publishers. ISBN 1844834761 Check |isbn= value: checksum (help).  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help); Check date values in: |access-date= (help);
Pferdestaerke This article is part of Project Science Glossary, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each term related to science.
4 Milky Way (ELitU)-blank This article is part of Project Astronomy, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each term related to astronomy.

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