Aurora viewed from space.


Aurora is a crown of light that circles the Earth’s poles. This photo was taken from the IMAGE satellite and shows the aurora australis (southern lights). Link -via Reddit

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chet: That's my whole point. NASA heavily doctors the images they put out to the public to make them look extra pretty and appealing. They make some beautiful pieces of art, but the "science" disappears pretty fast when you start doing this. They've taken heat for this in the past, but pretty pictures excite more people about space = bigger budgets for them.

They admit this image is a composite of at least 2 other images, one of which (a "Blue Marble - Next Generation picture") is itself heavily "enhanced" - read about that on their website. Like the resurrected Viking boat in another article, you have to wonder how much is real by the time they are finished.

Straight talk from Sid.
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They tell you exactly how they made this picture:
"The ring of light that the solar storm generated over Antarctica glows green in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum, shown in this image. The IMAGE observations of the aurora are overlaid onto NASA’s satellite-based Blue Marble image."
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