Aurora Australis

Here is an amazing photo of a rare aurora australis over the Southern Indian Ocean captured from the International Space Station (ISS) on May 29, 2010.

The Aurora Australis, As Seen from the ISS on May 29 | NASA

Many people are familiar with the auroroa borealis which takes place near the North Pole (also known as the northern lights), but the Southern Hemisphere has its own version of the atmospheric light show called the aurora australis.

From PopSci: The auroras — aurora borealis near the North Pole, aurora australis near the South Pole — are one of the atmosphere’s most beautiful phenomena, occurring when energetic ions from the sun collide with oxygen and nitrogen in the upper atmosphere, temporarily exciting those particles such that they emit light as they return to their normal states. This particular ribbon of ion activity appears green, the result of excited oxygen atoms at wavelengths near 0.558 millionths of a meter. Other wavelengths produce red, blue, or purple hues (you can see a little bit of red left of center).

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