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How? -- is it produced

Cartoon of Aurora Formation

Charged particles
in magnetosphere


Precipitate into atmosphere
and collide with oxygen and nitrogen


Lose energy by
excitation and ionization


Excited states of atoms and molecules relax
giving off photons
(wavelength determined by
atomic energy transitions)

[Back to the main Aurora page]

Web development:   Theresa Valentine
Last updated:  7/26/00

Above is background material for archival reference only.

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NASA Official: Adam Szabo

Curators: Robert Candey, Alex Young, Tamara Kovalick

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