St. Patrick's Day greenAurora Borealis 2013-03-17
The northern lights glow over a snowy Finnish landscape in a photo taken on the night of Jan. 16-17, 2013, by Thomas Kast.
Swirls of green and red appear in an aurora over Whitehorse in Canada's Yukon Territory on the night of Sept. 3, 2012. The northern lights were sparked by a storm of electrically charged particles that was thrown off by the sun on Aug. 31.
NASA astronaut Joe Acaba, flight engineer of the Expedition 32 crew onboard the International Space Station, recorded this image of Aurora Australis, also known as the Southern Lights, on July 15, 2012, from an altitude of approximately 240 miles.The Canadarm2 robot arm is in the foreground.
Robert Snache, a photographer living in the Rama First Nation in Ontario, captured this view of the northern lights on the night of July 8-9, 2012. For more about Snache and his work, check out Spirithands Photography on Facebook.
Thorbjørn Haagensen took this picture of the northern lights on April 3, 2012, from Hillesøy, close to Tromsø in northern Norway. The winter season is prime time for auroral displays, but with the onset of spring, the northern lights begin to pale up north. "Beginning in the middle of May, the midnight sun brings sunshine all night long," Haagensen said.
Jonina Oskarsdottir captured this picture of the northern lights on March 8, 2012, over Faskrudsfjordur, Iceland. "No words can describe the experience of the northern lights tonight," Oskarsdottir told SpaceWeather.com. She used a Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera to take the shot, with a Canon 14mm f/2.8L USM II lens set for ISO 1600 ... and a 1-second exposure.
The skies over the frozen Susitna River near Talkeetna, Alaska, are lit up by a display of the northern lights on Jan. 23, 2012. The aurora was enhanced by solar flares in the days preceding the event.
It's almost as if these two separate events of nature were fuming at each other. The northern lights are seen above the ash plume of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano on the evening of April 22, 2010.
A geomagnetic storm produced a colorful show of aurora borealis in the skies over Hyvinka in southern Finland on the morning of Oct. 31, 2003.
The colors of sunrise and the northern lights add to this view of a Perseid meteor streak on Aug. 12, 2000, as seen from the Colorado Rockies.
The northern lights dance over the Knik River near Palmer, Alaska, on Nov. 29, 2006.
John Carlson of Lutsen, Minn., said he was "surprised by the intense activity of the aurora" on Aug. 29, 2008. He took this beautiful but eerie photograph.
Northern lights are shown above a covered bridge at Wilkinson Pioneer Park in Rock Falls, Iowa, on Nov. 7, 2004.
The Earth Is Being Battered By Solar Flares & Radiation
Space in February 2013
A halo appears around the moon in Kvæfjord, Troms, Norway, on Feb. 19, 2013. Such halos occur when moonlight is refracted by ice crystals in the atmosphere.
A cloud over the Sahara Desert - and its shadow - are seen from the International Space Station on Feb. 17. "There is an undeniable beauty in human imagination," Hadfield wrote in a Twitter tweet. "What do you see in this Saharan cloud?"
The trail of a meteor is seen over Chelyabinsk, Russia, on Feb. 15. The meteor streaked across the sky and blew up, releasing as much energy as an atomic bomb and setting off a shock wave. About 1,200 people were injured, most of them by flying glass from broken windows.
Meteorite Hits Russia! Feb 15th 2013
This Chandra X-Ray Observatory image, obtained Feb. 26, shows a highly distorted supernova remnant that may contain the most recent black hole formed in the Milky Way galaxy. The color-coded composite image of the supernova remnant W49B combines X-rays from Chandra (blue and green), radio data from the Very Large Array (pink) and infrared data from the Palomar Observatory (yellow).
Comet PanSTARRS glows with a fanlike tail in this image captured by Argentine astrophotographer Ignacio Diaz Bobillo on Feb. 15. The comet is expected to reach naked-eye visibility in the Northern Hemisphere in early March.
This self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity rover combines dozens of exposures taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager on Feb. 3. The rover was positioned at a patch of flat outcrop called "John Klein," the site for the first rock-drilling activities by Curiosity. Because of the process by which the pictures were taken, the rover's robotic arm is not visible in the mosaic.
Arid fingers of sand-blasted rock look as if they're barely holding on against the hot Saharan wind in this view captured from the International Space Station on Feb. 20.
Generations of stars glitter in a color-coded infrared portrait from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, released Feb. 14. In this wispy star-forming region, called W5, the oldest stars can be seen as blue dots in the centers of the two hollow cavities. The other blue dots are stars not associated with the region. Red shows heated dust that pervades the region's cavities, while green highlights dense clouds.
Russian spacewalkers Oleg Kononenko, left, and Anton Shkaplerov work on the exterior of the International Space Station on Feb. 16.
Mercury in living color
Magnetic loops rise from the sun's surface, as seen in an image captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. Such loops lie at the heart of eruptions on the sun known as coronal mass ejections, or CMEs. The image was captured on July 19, 2012, and released to the public on Feb. 20, 2013.
Siberia's Lake Baikal is spread out beneath the International Space Station in a Feb. 26 image. Immensely old and deep, the lake holds one-fifth of Earth's fresh water. The space station's solar panels can be seen at the right edge of the picture.
A Southwest Airlines jet is silhouetted against the rising full moon as it takes off from Phoenix's Sky Harbor Airport on Feb. 24.
An image of the spiral galaxy M106, released Feb. 5, combines Hubble Space Telescope observations with additional data from amateur astronomers Robert Gendler and Jay GaBany. Located a little more than 20 million light-years away, M106 is one of the brightest and nearest spiral galaxies to our own.