Aurora over Icelandic Glacier

Aurora over Icelandic Glacier

Hello, my little geeks and nerdlings!

Saw this image first thing this morning over at the NASA’s APOD website and my eyes popped open!

aurora-iceland-reflection[Image Credit & Copyright: James Boardman Woodend (Images Inspired by Nature)]

Explanation: Several key conditions came together to create this award-winning shot. These included a dark night, few clouds, an epic auroral display, and a body of water that was both calm enough and unfrozen enough to show reflected stars. The featured skyscape of activity and serenity appeared over Iceland‘s Vatnajökull Glacier a year ago January, with the Jökulsárlón Iceberg Lagoon captured in the foreground. Aurora filledskies continue to be common near Earth’s poles as our Sun, near Solar Maximum, continues to expel energetic clouds of plasma into the Solar System.

Eye-popping. I love this kind of stuff. No, seriously. I love it!

If you haven’t made browsing the NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day website part of your morning routine, I strongly urge you to do so. If nothing else, you’ll see some great photos and maybe gain a little perspective on your life.

aa-tribalfang

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Aurora and Unusual Clouds Over Iceland

Aurora and Unusual Clouds Over Iceland

What’s happening in the sky? On this cold winter night in Iceland, quite a lot. First, in the foreground, lies the largest glacier in IcelandVatnajokull. On the far left, bright green auroras appear to emanate from the glacier as if it was a volcano. Aurora light is reflected by the foreground lake Jökulsárlón.

aurora-iceland(Image Credit & Copyright: Stéphane Vetter (Nuits sacrées)

On the far right is a long and unusual lenticular cloud tinged with green light emitted from another aurora well behind it. Just above this lenticular cloud are unusual iridescent lenticular clouds displaying a broad spectral range of colors. Far beyond the lenticular is the setting Moon, while far beyond even the Moon are setting stars. The above image was captured in late March of 2012.

Thanks, as always, to NASA and its Astronomy Picture of the Day.

aa-tribalfang

October Aurora in Prairie Skies

The recent US government shutdown meant a lot of things to a lot of people.

To me, it meant that NASA’s Astronomy Photo of the Day was not up and running!

Luckily, things are back to abnormal now so imagine my delight at seeing this photo, courtesy of NASA.

praire-northern-lights(Image Credit: Randy Halverson)

NASA’s explanation: Wind and spaceweather are transformed in this haunting night skyscape. The prairie windmill and colorful auroral display were captured on October 1, from central South Dakota, USA, as a good season for aurora hunters came with longer autumn nights. From green to rarer reddish hues, the northern lights are sparked by the geomagnetic storms caused by solar activity. These extend far above the cloud bank to altitudes well over 100 kilometers, against the backdrop of distant stars in the northern night. Visual double star Mizar, marking the middle of the Big Dipper’s handle, is easy to spot at the left edge of the frame. The dipper’s North Celestial Pole pointers Merak and Dubhe line up vertically near picture center.

Welcome back, NASA. We missed you!

aa-tribalfang