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Inspired by the Women’s March and my firm belief that these Princesses would be out there. Dream Big, Princess!

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Looking straight up into an Icelandic aurora

Is there a pot of gold at the end of a green aurora? Not sure, but these dancing green lights provide a spectacular view fitting for the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. 

This stunning aurora was captured by NASA astronaut Jeff Williams during his 2016 mission on the International Space Station. 

Even though auroras are best seen at night, they are actually caused by the sun. The sun sends us more than just heat a light…it sends lots of other energy and small particles toward Earth. The protective magnetic field around Earth shields us from most of the energy and particles. Sometimes, the particles interact with gases in our atmosphere resulting in beautiful displays of light in the sky. Oxygen gives off green and red light, while nitrogen glows blue and purple.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Aboard the International Space Station, astronaut Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency snapped this photo and wrote, ‘The view at night recently has been simply magnificent: few clouds, intense #aurora. I can’t look away from the windows.' 

The dancing lights of the aurora provide stunning views, but also capture the imagination of scientists who study incoming energy and particles from the sun. Aurora are one effect of such energetic particles, which can speed out from the sun both in a steady stream called the solar wind and due to giant eruptions known as coronal mass ejections or CMEs.

Credit: NASA/ESA

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I’ve been standing at the edge of the water
‘Long as I can remember, never really knowing why
I wish I could be the perfect daughter
But I come back to the water, no matter how hard I try