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Aurora Borealis Lights Up the U.S. Sky

In much of the country this week, the greatest show is not on earth, but above it: spectacular displays from the aurora borealis, or northern lights.

The northern lights occur when charged particles emitted by the sun strike the Earth's atmosphere. The resulting visual displays can be beautiful and dramatic. Stargazers in many parts of the continental United States and Canada have been treated to sightings of red, green and white lights across the night sky.

NPR's Robert Siegel speaks with Anthony Arrigo, a software engineer and amateur astronomer in Park City, Utah, who's been writing about the aurora borealis on his Web site.

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Prior to his retirement, Robert Siegel was the senior host of NPR's award-winning evening newsmagazine All Things Considered. With 40 years of experience working in radio news, Siegel hosted the country's most-listened-to, afternoon-drive-time news radio program and reported on stories and happenings all over the globe, and reported from a variety of locations across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia. He signed off in his final broadcast of All Things Considered on January 5, 2018.
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