Astronomy Picture of the Day



Aurora Iowa

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#73915 by @ 21.05.2005 00:00 - nach oben -
Aurora Iowa


Explanation:

Early last Sunday morning stars were not the only lights in Iowa
skies.

The northern lights also shone from the heavens, extending
across the midwestern USA and
other locations not often
graced with auroral displays.

The wide-ranging auroral activity was triggered as a
coronal
mass ejection
- an
energetic cloud of particles blasted outward from
the
Sun
a few days earlier - collided with
planet Earth's magnetosphere.

Alerted to conditions
ripe
for aurora
, photographer Stan Richard
recorded this aparition over Saylorville Lake, near
Des Moines.

Bright planet Mars in the constellation
Aquarius is above the
horizon near the center of the eastward-looking view.

While the colorful rays seem to end just above the water, they are
actually at altitudes of 100 kilometers
or more.




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