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Aurora photos by Ben Harden, Dan Torres, and Melissa Patrician

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The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, are only visible at high latitudes in the northern hemisphere. We were at about 69 deg north at the time of this event. This beautiful natural light show in the sky is produced when particles are trapped by the Earth's magnetic field. The colors produced correspond to the different gases in the atmosphere. Oxygen molecules give off a red and green light and nitrogen molecules give off a blue and violet light. The Northern Lights are an absolutely breathtaking event and one that is hard to capture on film, especially with the roll of the ship caused by the 30 knot winds while we were out on the deck! The greens and even some red lit up the sky and danced around at their brightest for about an hour in the middle of the night. The whole science party got out of their bunks to view this amazing event. --Melissa Patrician

1. (Photo by Ben Harden, University of East Anglia)

Last updated: October 22, 2008

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