01 Oct '11, 10pm

Crazy Cool #NASA Image & Animation of Northern Lights Around the World rt @DavidBTwit #Geography

Crazy Cool #NASA Image & Animation of Northern Lights Around the World rt @DavidBTwit #Geography

From space, the aurora is a crown of light that circles each of Earth’s poles. The IMAGE satellite captured this view of the aurora australis (southern lights) on September 11, 2005, four days after a record-setting solar flare sent plasma—an ionized gas of protons and electrons—flying towards the Earth. The ring of light that the solar storm generated over Antarctica glows green in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum, shown in this image. The IMAGE observations of the aurora are overlaid onto NASA’s satellite-based Blue Marble image. From the Earth’s surface, the ring would appear as a curtain of light shimmering across the night sky. Like all solar storms, the September storm distorted the shape of the magnetic field that surrounds the Earth. Without buffeting from the solar wind (charged particles like protons and electrons that are ejected from the Sun), the Earth’s m...

Full article: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=6226

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