Like a wisp of electric green smoke, the aurora australis seemingly intersects with the Earth’s airglow as the International Space Station orbited above the Indian Ocean halfway between Australia and Antarctica.

Ever-shifting displays of colored ribbons, curtains, rays, and spots, auroras are most visible near the North (aurora borealis) and South (aurora australis) Poles as charged particles (ions) streaming from the Sun (the solar wind) interact with Earth’s magnetic field.

Auroras happen when ions in the solar wind collide with atoms of oxygen and nitrogen in the upper atmosphere. The atoms are excited by these collisions, and they typically emit light as they return to their original energy level. The light creates the aurora that we see. The most commonly observed color of aurora is green.

Image Credit: NASA



当太阳风中的离子与高层气中的和氮原子发生碰撞时,就会产生极光。原子因这些碰撞而激发,并且通常会在返回原始能级时发光。光线创造出我们所看到的极光。 极光中最常见的颜色是绿色。


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