Friday, May 24, 2024

Aurora over Slovakia

Aurora over Slovakia

Slovakia is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to the west, and Czechia to the northwest.

On Earth, auroras are mainly created by particles originally emitted by the Sun in the form of solar wind. When this stream of electrically charged particles gets close to our planet, it interacts with the magnetic field, which acts as a gigantic shield. While it protects Earth’s environment from solar wind particles, it can also trap a small fraction of them. Particles trapped within the magnetosphere—the region of space surrounding Earth in which charged particles are affected by its magnetic field—can be energized and then follow the magnetic field lines down to the magnetic poles. There, they interact with oxygen and nitrogen atoms in the upper layers of the atmosphere, creating the flickering, colorful lights visible in the polar regions here on Earth.

Earth auroras have different names depending on the pole they occur at. Aurora Borealis, or the northern lights, is the name given to auroras around the north pole and Aurora Australis, or the southern lights, is the name given for auroras around the south pole.

The Colors of the Aurora (U.S. National Park Service)

Image Credit: Ondrej Králik
Image Date: May 10, 2024

#NASA #Astronomy #Space #Science #Planet #Earth #Aurora #AuroraBorealis #NorthernLights #MagneticField #Magnetosphere #SolarWind #Sun #Star #Astrophotography #OndrejKrálik #Astrophotographer #Slovakia #Slovenská #Europe #STEM #Education

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