October 01, 2004
During the predawn hours of July 27, 2004, the desert Southwest (photo captured near Borrego Springs, California) was visited by the aurora borealis -- the northern lights. This panoramic image shows rays of blue emanating from the pinkish dome along the northeastern horizon. At the right lie the Pleiades (7 Sisters) star cluster, and brilliant Venus is at lower right. Even at relatively low latitudes (33 degrees north), auroras can be glimpsed when the Sun is particularly active.