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Photo Caption:
An image of Earth's Northern Auroral Oval in the ultraviolet spectrum taken by Polar's Visible Imaging System on March 25, 1996 and then superposed on an image of Earth's surface from the Face of the Earth(TM) © 1996,
ARC Science simulations.
 


THE AURORA

Discoveries from
NASA's Polar Spacecraft

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COASTLINE HUGGING AURORAS


Humans are not alone in showing a preference for coastlines. New observations suggest that auroras--those brilliant curtains of light seen in the night sky of the polar regions--may also favor Earth's coastlines on occasion. A camera designed to image the Earth's aurora from NASA's Polar spacecraft has provided strong evidence that coastlines do sometimes influence the spatial distribution of these colorful, shimmering lights. The photographs produced by Polar's state-of-the-art camera shows auroral arcs sometimes following coastlines for hundreds of miles. At other times, the coastlines appear to deflect or dim the auroral arc. No theory can presently account for the formation of such coastline auroras... (full story)

Last Updated: Sun Feb 2 15:42:25 2014
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