Aurora in Norway

It is said that life sometimes imitates art, and today’s Astronomy Picture of the Day is a stunning example of that. This photo of an aurora over Norway looks very angelic to me. However, there’s a perfectly natural explanation for this phenomenon, which is a common occurrence at high latitudes. Auroras are the result of charged particles ejected from the Sun interacting with the Earth’s magnetosphere. Five days ago, a coronal mass ejection from the Sun hurled these particles toward Earth. An even more powerful solar flare occurred yesterday, and will likely produce another spectacular northern light show once the particles arrive at Earth tonight.

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