National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Northern Light Show
Northern Light Show (click to enlarge)

Northern Light Show

Brilliant splashes of color lit up the night skies across North America, as seen in this stunning photo of aurora borealis, better known as the "Northern Lights."

Auroras form when a "solar wind" of charged particles from the sun enters Earth's magnetic field, accelerating electrically charged particles trapped within. The high-speed particles then crash into Earth's upper atmosphere over the polar regions, causing the atmosphere to emit a ghostly, multicolored glow.

NOTE: This image is copyrighted. Contact Mark Urwiller for usage inquiries.

Last Update: 27 Sept 2011 (AMB)

Credit: Mark Urwiller

Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writers: Courtney O'Connor and Bill Dunford
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 27 Sep 2011