суббота, 14 октября 2017 г.

Towers of lightThis image of the Aurora Borealis over Canada was…

Towers of light

This image of the Aurora Borealis over Canada was taken out the window of the International Space Station in September during one of the large solar outbursts that month. The aurora is produced by interaction between charged particles fired out of the sun and the Earth’s atmosphere. When charged particles from the sun hit the Earth’s magnetic field, they are travel along the magnetic field lines and hit the atmosphere, usually near the poles. The collisions between these charged particles and molecules of nitrogen and oxygen in the atmosphere transfers energy to those atoms and when they release that energy, it appears to us as visible light. The green colors come from energy being released from oxygen while the purple colors come from energy released by nitrogen, often at different heights in the atmosphere. In the distance you can see the light marking the beginning of sunrise that day.


Image credit: NASA

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