Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2023 November 6
Explanation: What was that red glow on the horizon last night? Aurora. Our unusually active Sun produced a surface explosion a few days ago that sent out a burst of electrons, protons, and more massive charged nuclei. This coronal mass ejection (CME) triggered auroras here on Earth that are being reported unusually far south in Earth's northern hemisphere. For example, this was the first time that the astrophotographer captured aurora from her home country of Italy. Additionally, many images from these auroras appear quite red in color. In the featured image, the town of Comelico Superiore in the Italian Alps is visible in the foreground, with the central band of our Milky Way galaxy seen rising from the lower left. What draws the eye the most, though, is the bright red aurora on the far right. The featured image is a composite with the foreground and background images taken consecutively with the same camera and from the same location.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC,
NASA Science Activation
& Michigan Tech. U.