NASA’s astronomy picture of the day is an enthralling image of the Northern Lights or Auroras over Northern Canada.
Although geomagnetic storms can cause various effects which have the potential to harm Earth, they’re also the reason behind one of the most beautiful natural phenomena – Northern Lights. Auroras or Northern lights are shifting curtains of light in greens, blues and pinks which light up the night sky in the Northern and Southern poles. They are called Northern Lights or Aurora Borelis in the North Pole and Southern Lights or Aurora Australis in the South Pole. Although they are often caused by Geomagnetic storms, auroras are a sight to behold for astronomers as well as night-sky watchers.
NASA releases its Astronomy image of the day on a daily basis. Today’s image is a mesmerizing snapshot of Auroras captured over the night sky in Northern Canada. The image was captured by astronomer Kwon O Chul, a Korean-based astrophotographer, as part of the TWAN initiative. The World At Night (TWAN) is an international effort to present stunning night photos and timelapse videos of the world’s landmarks against celestial attractions.
Kwon O Chul posted an explanation with the image, “Gusting solar winds and blasts of charged particles from the Sun resulted in several rewarding nights of auroras back in 2014 December, near the peak of the last 11-year solar cycle. The featured image captured dramatic auroras stretching across a sky near the town of Yellowknife in northern Canada. The auroras were so bright that they not only inspired awe, but were easily visible on an image exposure of only 1.3 seconds.”
“A video taken concurrently shows the dancing sky lights evolving in real time as tourists, many there just to see auroras, respond with cheers. The conical dwellings on the image right are tipis, while far in the background, near the image center, is the constellation of Orion. Auroras may increase again over the next few years as our Sun again approaches solar maximum,” Chul further explained in the post.