Email Print Share
January 7, 2009

Aurora Australis over station

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

Like its more familiar counterpart, the aurora borealis, or "northern lights," the aurora australis is caused by the solar wind passing through the upper atmosphere. But the aurora australis is much less frequently observed because so few people live in Antarctica during the austral winter.

In January 2008, the National Science Foundation (NSF) dedicated the new station at the pole, the third since 1956. The new station is larger and much more sophisticated than any previous structure built at the pole, a reflection of the logistical support needed for the ever-increasing range and diversity of the research taking place there. The elevated station contains dorm rooms, laboratories, office space, cafeteria and recreational facilities. To learn all about the new station, see "A Special Report: U.S. South Pole Station." Further information about NSF's United States Antarctic Program is available Here. [Note: Please see special restrictions regarding use of this image, below.] (Date of Image: May 2008)

Credit: Calee Allen

Special Restrictions: [Note: Any commercial use of this image requires the photographer's permission.]

Images and other media in the National Science Foundation Multimedia Gallery are available for use in print and electronic material by NSF employees, members of the media, university staff, teachers and the general public. All media in the gallery are intended for personal, educational and nonprofit/non-commercial use only.

Images credited to the National Science Foundation, a federal agency, are in the public domain. The images were created by employees of the United States Government as part of their official duties or prepared by contractors as "works for hire" for NSF. You may freely use NSF-credited images and, at your discretion, credit NSF with a "Courtesy: National Science Foundation" notation.

Additional information about general usage can be found in Conditions.

Also Available:
Download the high-resolution JPG version of the image. (3.4 MB)

Use your mouse to right-click (Mac users may need to Ctrl-click) the link above and choose the option that will save the file or target to your computer.