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    PHOTOS: Spellbinding Colors of Northern Lights Astound Alaska Photographer

    By By Nina Sen, Space.com Contributor
    April 30, 2014, 6:19:20 AM EDT

    The northern lights dance in a breathtaking display of purples and green in these stunning images by a night sky photographer in Alaska. Astrophotographer Dora Miller of Talkeetna, Alaska captured the dazzling aurora images on April 20 during a nighttime photo session that she won't forget anytime soon.

    "A very intense and colorful show of northern lights happened last night here in Alaska," Miller wrote in an email to Space.com. "I have been shooting auroras for many years but last night was a mind-blower." [See more amazing northern lights photos of 2014]


    568x376_04301417_aurora1

    Auroras are caused by charged particles from the sun (the solar wind) that interact with the Earth's upper atmosphere (at altitudes above 50 miles, or 80 km), causing a glow.


    323x493_04301418_aurora2

    The particles are drawn to Earth's polar regions by the planet's magnetic field resulting in aurora borealis, or northern lights, and its southern counterpart the aurora australis, or southern lights. Editor's note: If you have an amazing night sky photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at spacephotos@space.com.

    Follow Space.com on Twitter @Spacedotcom. We're also on Facebook & Google+. Original article on Space.com.

    Copyright 2014 SPACE.com, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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