Red Aurora Over Australia
Explanation: Why would the sky glow red? It’s the Aurora Australis which like its Borealis sister in the Northern Hemisphere is normally green.
But a solar storm in 2012, emanating mostly from active sunspot region 1402:
showered particles on the Earth that excited oxygen atoms high in the Earth’s atmosphere. As the excited element’s electrons fell back to their ground state, they emitted a red glow. Were oxygen atoms lower in Earth’s atmosphere excited, the glow would be predominantly green. Pictured here, this high red aurora is visible just above the horizon last week near Flinders, Victoria, Australia.
The sky that night, however, also glowed with more familiar but more distant objects, including the central disk of our Milky Way Galaxy on the left, and the neighboring Large and Small Magellanic Cloud galaxies on the right.
The time-lapse video below highlights auroras visible that night and puts the picturesque scene in context.
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/35630244″>Red Aurora Australis</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/terrastro”>Alex Cherney</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
Source: Astronomy Picture of the Day
And here’s some more images of this beautiful orb we call home: