Aurora Australis in Motion

By: Alex Cherney


Region: Australia and Pacific

Site: Victoria - Australia

Date: 2012 January 16 & 22

Turn on your speakers and prepare for this unique time-lapse video of the Southern Lights or Aurora Australis above the southern coast of Australia near Melbourne. Aurora is caused by the solar wind; energetic charged particles originated from the Sun. The Earth's magnetic field traps these particles and many of them travel toward our planet magnetic poles where they collide the molecules in the atmosphere and cause energy releases in the form of auroras appearing in large circles around the poles. But when stronger streams of particles, made by solar eruptions, reach the Earth the aurora circle spread to the lower latitudes such as the southern Australia. The color of aurora depends on which atoms are collided by solar wind, and also the altitude of this interaction (between 80 and 600 km above the ground). See a selected still image of this sequence. Alex Cherney/

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