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What is more beautiful on a cold winter's night than catching a glimpse of the northern lights or "aurora borealis" dancing across the sky? For thousands of years people in the northern part of the world have marveled at the spectacular displays that occasionally light up the night sky. This stunning phenomenon is deeply embedded in the mythology of many cultures, and in the past, the causes of northern lights were ascribed to everything from dancing spirits to God's anger. But no one suspected a connection with the Sun until a little more than a hundred years ago, when an eccentric Norwegian scientist, Kristian Birkeland, realized that the Sun bombards the Earth with particles. After decades of research, we now know that auroras appear when charged particles from the Sun interact with the Earth's magnetic field, which directs the particles into the atmosphere where they collide with gases and emit the light that we call auroras. By monitoring the activity of the Sun it is therefore possible to forecast the strength and location of the aurora. When is the best time to see auroras? Where is the best place to go? How to plan a trip? What is needed to be able to observe auroras? How to photograph auroras with a digital camera? By answering these and many other questions, this book is the ultimate guide and an ideal companion for anyone who wishes to learn more about auroras, when and where strong northern lights are likely to occur and how to best observe and photograph this spectacular natural phenomenon with a digital camera.
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