This photograph of aurora borealis, northern aurora, was taken during the Spacelab-J (SL-J) mission (STS-47). People who live in the northernmost areas like Alaska or work in the southernmost regions like Antarctica often see colorful lights produced by Earth's natural electromagnetic generator; these shimmering expanses of light are auroras, commonly called the northern and southern lights. Charged particles from the magnetosphere follow magnetic fields and are accelerated toward Earth at the magnetic poles where they strike molecules in the upper atmosphere, staining the sky with the red and green lights of oxygen and hydrogen, and the purples and pinks of nitrogen. The altitude and inclination of the Spacelab will give scientists unique views of auroras, which occur at altitudes ranging from about 90 to 300 kilometers (56 to 186 miles). Most views of the auroras have been from the ground where only limited parts can be seen. These Skylab views will give scientists information on their complex structure and chemical composition. The Spacelab-J was a joint mission of NASA and the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) utilizing a marned Spacelab module. The mission conducted microgravity investigations in materials and life sciences. The SL-J was launched aboard the Space Shuttle Orbiter Endeavour (STS-47) on September 12, 1992.