Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2000 April 10
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Aurora in Red and Yellow
Credit & Copyright: Jan Safar (Brno Observatory)

Explanation: The past week brought some spectacular aurora to northern skies. These aurorae were caused by a large interplanetary shock wave that exploded from the Sun on April 4. When the shock wave reached the Earth on April 6, the resulting aurora could be seen in clear skies as far south as North Carolina. As the aurorae occurred high in the Earth's atmosphere, they were accompanied by an unusual alignment of planets far in the background. Pictured above that night, an unusual multicolored auroral display graced the skies above the domes of the Brno Observatory in the Czech Republic.

Tomorrow's picture: The Local Interstellar Cloud

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.