For the fifth day in a row, Earth is inside a stream of solar wind blowing out of a large hole in the sun’s atmosphere. This is causing magnetic unrest and bright auroras around the poles. Wind speeds are expected to exceed 600 km/s for at least one more day, so Arctic sky watchers should remain alert for auroras on Dec. 26th. Free: Aurora Alerts.

PINK CHRISTMAS: Intense pink auroras are dancing around the Arctic Circle on Christmas Day 2016. James Helmericks sends this picture from the Colville River Delta in northern Alaska:

“This was the brightest pink display I have ever seen, at one time even giving the snow a pink tinge,” he says.

Pink is a sign of electrons from space penetrating unusually deep in Earth’s atmosphere and colliding with nitrogen molecules less than 100 km above the planet’s surface.

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