<p>Purple and green light seems to rain from the starry sky during an <a id="sck_" title="aurora" href="http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography/photos/patterns-aurorae/#/churchill-aurora_9338_600x450.jpg">aurora</a>, seen last Thursday from Ramsund, Norway.<br><br>Aurorae are created when charged particles from the sun flow along Earth's magnetic field lines. The particles hit Earth's atmosphere at the Poles and excite air molecules, which release the extra energy as light.</p><p>(See <a id="gmx4" title="pictures of auroras triggered by a recent solar storm aimed directly at Earth" href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/08/photogalleries/100810-northern-lights-solar-cme-aurora-borealis-pictures/">pictures of auroras triggered by a recent solar storm aimed directly at Earth</a>.)</p>

Light Rain

Purple and green light seems to rain from the starry sky during an aurora, seen last Thursday from Ramsund, Norway.

Aurorae are created when charged particles from the sun flow along Earth's magnetic field lines. The particles hit Earth's atmosphere at the Poles and excite air molecules, which release the extra energy as light.

(See pictures of auroras triggered by a recent solar storm aimed directly at Earth.)

Photograph courtesy Kaspars Kurcens

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