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November 17, 2005

Aurora Australis Over Amundsen-Scott

Aurora australis (the "southern lights") over Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Antarctica.

A full moon and 25 second exposure allowed sufficient light into this photo, taken at Amundsen-Scott during the long Antarctic night. The new station can be seen at far left, the power plant in the center and the old mechanic's garage in the lower right. Red lights are used outside during the winter darkness because their spectrum does not pollute the sky, which allows scientists to conduct astrophysical studies without artificial light interference. The green light in the sky is the aurora australis.

Amundsen-Scott Station is one of three U.S. research stations on the Antarctic continent. All of the stations are operated by the National Science Foundation's U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP). Further information about USAP is available Here. (Date of Image: July 2005)

Credit: Photo by Chris Danals, National Science Foundation

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