NASA has revealed the most recent photos obtained from the International Space Station of the Southern Lights, or Aurora Australis, over the Indian Ocean near Antarctica. Bob Hines, a pilot now stationed on the International Space Station (ISS), is the one who created the image of the auroras.
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According to NASA, light shows at the North and South Poles are created by the collision of solar particles emitted by the sun with the Earth’s magnetic field. In most cases, Earthlings won’t even notice these interactions because they are so small. Massive solar storms, known as coronal mass ejections, cause the sun to release large bubbles of electrified gas that collide with our magnetic fields near the North and South Poles, then make their way into our atmospheres.
Once these charged solar particles enter the atmosphere, they collide with gases, creating a spectacular light show. Image captionSolar particles colliding with atmospheric oxygen produce the vibrant reds and greens seen here. On the other hand, when these particles break with nitrogen in the Earth’s atmosphere, they produce brilliant blue and purple flashes.
Auroras have been seen on other planets. Auroras, as previously observed on Jupiter, are clear evidence that a planet has an atmosphere and a magnetic field.