Astronomy Picture of the Day

Aurora Over Iowa

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#97211 by @ 19.12.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
Aurora Over Iowa

Last Thursday evening, stars were not the only lights in Iowa skies.

Spectacular 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 large
solar flare - 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 apparition over
Saylorville Lake,
near Des Moines,

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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