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.

2005 August 7

See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Dueling Auroras
Credit & Copyright: Phil Hoffman

Explanation: Will it be curtains for one of these auroras? A quick inspection indicates that it is curtains for both, as the designation "curtains" well categorizes the type of aurora pattern pictured. Another (informal) type is the corona. The above auroras resulted from outbursts of ionic particles from the Sun during the last week of 2001 September. A polarity change in the solar magnetic field at the Earth then triggered auroras over the next few days. The above picture was taken on 2001 October 3 as fleeting space radiation pelted the Earth's atmosphere high above the Yukon in Canada.

Tomorrow's picture: mars spectacular?

< | Archive | Index | Search | Calendar | Glossary | Education | About APOD | Discuss | >

Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings, and Disclaimers
NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: EUD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.