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Antarctica

A full moon and 25 second exposure allowed sufficient light into this photo taken at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station during the long Antarctic night. The station appears at the far left, the power plant in the center, and the mechanic’s garage in the lower right. Red lights are used outside during the winter darkness as their spectrum does not pollute the sky, allowing scientists to conduct astrophysical studies without artificial light interference. The background of green light is the aurora australis, which dances through the sky virtually all the time during the long Antarctic night (winter). The photo’s surreal appearance makes the station look like a futuristic Mars Station. Image courtesy of the National Science Foundation.