Aurora Borealis Visits Chicago

If you live in the Chicagoland area (as we do), you’ve probably heard about the northern lights show that graced our part of the country last Monday night.  According to astronomers it was the first significant event of Aurora Borealis to appear in Chicago in the last seven years.  The phenomenon occurs when high energy protons and electrons released by the sun (solar wind) interact with our planet’s magnetic field.  However, if you live in the city (where light pollution restricts visibility) or were inside (where walls and ceilings restrict visibility) between 8 and 9PM last Monday, you most likely missed it.  Fortunately, NASA has released some truly spectacular images and videos of the show.

(click for larger image)

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/31157013 w=500&h=331]

(image and video courtesy of NASA)

Another angle:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MADz6fsC3Nw?rel=0&w=475&h=352]

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  1. […] comparing these clips to actual footage of the Earth taken by orbiting space craft (for example, this post). In the real footage, there’s no shortage of recognizable geography — it’s like […]

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