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September 2010

Cloud of the Month for September 2010

September 2010

Cloud of the Month for September 2010

The Northern Lights

This month’s image shows the beautiful atmospheric display known as the ‘aurora borealis’. It was given this name by Pierre Gassendi in 1621, after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas. Also known as the northern lights, the display of shifting colours results from the collision of energetic charged particles from solar storms with atoms in the Earth’s high atmosphere. Because of the Earth’s magnetic field, the displays only occur in northern latitudes, like this beautiful example over Denmark.

Photograph © Jesper Grønne.

  • Brian Costello

    April 28, 2012 at 1:57 am

    I’ve never seen the northern lights mix with twilight; beautiful.


    September 25, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    All thing bright and beautiful , All thing wise and wonderful

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