The Moon, Stars, and Aurora Borealis Over Earth

This fantastic photo of the Moon, the stars, and Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) over Earth was taken by the International Space Station (Expedition 13) in 2006.

There's more: http://chamorrobible.org/gpw/gpw-20050129.htm - Thanks I Am Aurora-Stunned!


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That speck of green IS the aurora borealis. The blue/white field below it is the Earth's atmosphere, illuminated by a few rays of sunlight. The black area below that is the Earth. Here's a link to the Wikipedia entry on polar auroras: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurora_%28astronomy%29 The article gives a detailed description of what they are, along with other cool photographs and a diagram. Basically, auroras form much the way that a fluorescent tube lights up: energy passes through a layer of ionized gas, causing... (This is usually where most students start tuning out. Just look at the pretty lights and marvel at the wonders of the Cosmos!)
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oooooh... aaaaahhh...

I don't understand aurora Borealis's much, so why is there that speck of green that seems to be floating off in space?

All I know is it has something to do with the Sun and the atmosphere and ions and stuff. :)
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