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.

November 11, 1998
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
 the highest resolution version available.

Aurora Above
Credit: J. Curtis (U. Alaska), ACRC

Explanation: On some nights the sky is the most interesting show in town. This picture captures a particularly active and colorful display of aurora that occurred a month ago high above Alaska. Auroras are more commonly seen by observers located near the Earth's poles. Aurora light results from solar electrons and protons striking molecules high in the Earth's atmosphere. Planetary aurora activity can sometimes be predicted after particularly active solar coronal mass ejections.

Tomorrow's picture: High Energy

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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.