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Monday, January 30, 2006

Aurora Australis

[Media: Video]

NASA has pictures and videos of the Aurora Australis, the southern counterpart of the Aurora Borealis. The video is quite beautiful and is certainly worth checking out.
Though scientists knew that the aurora were caused by charged particles from the Sun and their interaction with the Earth’s magnetic field, they had no way to measure the interaction until NASA launched the Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE) satellite in 2000. The satellite’s mission was to collect data that would allow scientists to study the structure and dynamics of the Earth’s magnetic field for the first time. Designed to operate for two years, IMAGE sent its last data to Earth in December 2005 after a highly successful five-year mission.

Link (via Fazed)