Sunday, February 13, 2022

Two phenomena, one photo

7:02 PM |

On the left, the glow of an aurora borealis; on the right, the vertical colors of the light pillars (Image: Reproduction/Alexandre Correia)

On the one hand, we have an aurora; on the other, colored pillars of light. It's even difficult to decide which one is the most beautiful, isn't it? In the case of the left part of the image, we see auroras, a phenomenon that begins with the particles expelled by the Sun. Upon arriving here, some of them encounter the magnetic field of our planet and reach the atmosphere, interacting with the different gases from it and forming the brightly colored auroras we know.

On the right is the result of the lights on the ground reflected by thousands of small ice crystals in high-altitude clouds, forming the pillars of light. As the crystals are mostly flat, the pillars occur in columns in the vertical direction, reflecting the coloring of the ground lighting and creating this impressive luminosity. Generally, pillars of light occur when the weather is very cold.

If you look closely, you'll also notice that there are several stars shining in the sky, like those in the constellation of Orion the Hunter — and, of course, in the middle of it all, the astrophotographer is waving at the photo. This record was captured in Kautokeino, Norway.

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