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8 amazing auroras seen on Earth ... and beyond

By: Katherine Butler on July 9, 2010, 11:15 a.m.
Fairbanks, Alaska

Photo: zhengxu/Flickr

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Fairbanks, Alaska

Alaska is the site of many a light show, and the University of Alaska is considered a foremost research facility on aurora borealis. Auroras have been seen less frequently of late. Dirk Lummerzheim is a research professor who studies aurora borealis for the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. He blames the recent lack of auroras on reduced solar activity. According to Lummerzheim, “We are at the solar minimum. When solar activity dies down like this, the aurora activity also diminishes in the north.”