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Aurora

Aurora

Aurora are produced when flows of energetic charged particles collide with the upper atmosphere, and are most spectacular when solar activity is highest. The colors are created when the energetic particles collide with constituents of our atmosphere, and those constituents, like oxygen, give off specific colors depending on the amount of energy present in the collision.

Solar Storms and You! Exploring the Aurora and the Ionosphere

http://image.gsfc.nasa.gov/poetry/higley.html

Photo Courtesy of: Tom Eklund