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Alien aurora to be target of new research

X-ray auroras observed near the poles of Jupiter, thought to be caused by the same polar winds that create aurora borealis over Alaska.
NASA photo
Aurora borealis over Bear Lake outside Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska
Photo courtesy: Senior Airman Joshua Strang
Aurora borealis over US Midwest as seen from International Space Station
NASA photo courtesy via Wikimedia Commons
Aurora australis as seen from the International Space Station
NASA photo
Aurora borealis dancing over Valhall, Norway
Bård Andreassen photo
The Northern Lights dance above Sheep Mountain in the early morning hours of November 13, 2012.
Loren Holmes photo
Alaska Dispatch

Aurora borealis occurs when supercharged particles are blasted from solar winds into Earth's atmosphere, delivering spectacular light shows over the north and south poles. But Earth isn't the only planet to experience the lights: NASA has documented the phenomenon on Jupiter, too, where the aurora may be up to 100 times brighter than on Earth.

Now, scientists using X-ray telescopes have observed emissions from outside the solar system they believe are caused by aurora displays on extrasolar planets. And the aurora coming from beyond the sun's orbit may be up to 100,000 times brighter than those seen on Earth, researchers at the University of Leicester in England told SPACE.com.  

More: How to photograph the northern lights