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.

2001 October 8
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

A Yukon Aurora
Credit & Copyright: Yuichi Takasaka

Explanation: Last week was another good week for auroras. The story began about two weeks ago when two large Coronal Mass Ejections exploded off the Sun. Waves of elementary particles and ions swept out past the Earth on September 28 and 29, causing many auroras. A week ago, a flapping sheet that divides north and south regions of the Sun's magnetic field passed the Earth, again causing auroras. Pictured above is a particularly good image of one of the October 1 northern lights. Taken in Canada's Yukon, the city lights of Whitehorse are seen below dark clouds and a twisting green aurora.

Tomorrow's picture: Tumbling Space Mountain

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

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.