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German Astronaut Shares Jaw-Dropping Image of the Northern Lights

This angle gives the beauty of Northern Lights justice…

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Earth is a wonderful planet and it has been proven time and again. Even so, wonderful scenes become even more breathtaking, especially when witnessed from a whole new perspective.

Take the Aurora Borealis, for example. It has long been considered a magical phenomenon ever since it was first discovered by early astronomers during the 15th century. Still, it managed to inspire awe in people like German astronaut, Alexander Gerst.

On August 10, the 42-year-old space explorer shared images of the incredible phenomenon from 400 kilometers above the Earth’s waters.

“Mind-blowing, every single time. I wonder what early explorers thought when they first saw an aurora without ever having heard about it…” Gerst captioned the image of the magical Lights taken from the International Space Station (ISS).

Galileo Galilei gave it its name in 1616: “aurora” from the Roman goddess of dawn and “borealis” from the Greek word for “the wind of the north.” The Southern Lights are called “aurora australis” and is best appreciated from Antarctica.

Explaining the science behind it, NASA said that the auroral lights are created by the Earth’s magnetic field. In fact, it is actually the planet deflecting magnetic waves (e.g. radiation) from space that tend to be harmful to humans.

What gives Aurora Borealis its colors?

Source: Pexels

Space.com explained that the varying colors are the effect of different particles bouncing off atmospheric gases: yellow and green for oxygen, red, violet and the rare blue for nitrogen. It is also affected by the altitude at which the particles collide with molecules of the gases, which makes it appear like a curtain of light above the Earth.

“The green lights typically in areas appear up to 150 miles (241 km) high, red above 150 miles; blue usually appear at up to 60 miles (96.5 km); and purple and violet above 60 miles.”

Northern Lights are best beholden in northern Canada and Alaska, but astronauts have the rare privilege of seeing them from space.

Isn’t it wonderful to think that this magical curtain of light occurs on our beautiful planet? Share this article if you agree.

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Art

8 Real-Life Locations Of Famous Paintings

Prepare to be amazed!

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Are you a fan of art? Have you ever wondered what it was like creating some of the world's most beautiful paintings?

Here are 8 real-life settings of famous paintings that will probably make you appreciate art even more. These places have inspired some of the world’s most renowned artists such as Grant Wood, Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Edvard Munch.

1. Le Café La Nuit (Café Terrace at Night by Vincent van Gogh)

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Art

Artist’s Unique Paintings Capture Twinkling Blurry Beads Of City Lights At Night

These are unique and beautiful.

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Philip Barlow is an artist from Cape Town, South Africa. His latest paintings depict out-of-focus cityscapes at night, capturing the twinkling blurry beads of light.

The artist titled the series with one word - "Night." His collection is all about “out-of-focus” snaps of city scenes confetti-like blurry effect. This effect is popularly called bokeh in photography.

Resembling the photographic effect, bokeh, Barlow celebrates “light” as his main subject.

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History

7 Surprising Facts About Egypt’s Ancient Mummies

It’s not easy being a mummy.

Nobelle Borines

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Mummification might seem like a shocking practice for us but for the people of ancient Egypt, it was a natural thing. The Egyptians believed that preserving their dearly departed ensured eternal life. Although we already know a lot about mummies, there are still a few surprising facts about the ones you'll find in Egypt.

Egyptians certainly perfected their mummification process but there are natural mummies around the world. For instance, the Tollund Man was found in a bog in Denmark. His remains were so well-preserved that scientists were able to determine his last meal was porridge. Tollund Man lived in the fourth century BC and can now be found in Silkeborg Museum.

Here are seven surprising facts about the ancient mummies of Egypt.

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