Last update: September 19th, 2020 at 3:00 pm
Today’s Image of the Day comes thanks to the NASA Earth Observatory and features a look at the shining green lights of the aurora australis.
The aurora australis, also known as the southern lights, occurs after charged particles from space are swept up by the solar wind. Solar plasma applies pressure, which stretches the magnetic field, especially on the night side of Earth. This causes particles stuck in the magnetic field to become energized.
This energy is released and transferred to oxygen and nitrogen molecules in the atmosphere. These gases emit photons, which are small bursts of energy that manifest in the form of light.
This image was taken by astronaut Jack Fischer on board the International Space Station while passing over the Great Australian Bight.
Source: NASA Earth Observatory