Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Science https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Spectacular Dragon-Shaped Aurora lights up on the sky in Iceland

Spectacular Dragon-Shaped Aurora lights up on the sky in Iceland

Provided you know one or two things about shutter speeds and openings, aurora borealis can be the subject of some really mind-bending spectacular images. But even in the exceptionally high standards of images showing the northern lights, this is especially special.

The photograph of a huge dragon-shaped aurora was shot in Iceland earlier this month by photographers Jingyi Zhang and Wang Zheng. 19659002] "This iconic screen was so enchanting that the photographer's mother ran out to see it and got caught in the foreground," NASA explains at Astronomy Picture of the Day blog. 1

9659002] Aurora borealis, known as Northern Lights, when they occur in the northern hemisphere, is not just a beautiful sight – they are the result of cosmic forces traveling across the Solar System. They are caused by solar particles spat out of the sun's corona, its upper atmosphere. When these solar winds reach the ground and smash into their magnetosphere (two to three days after leaving the sun), they release their energy and excite oxygen and nitrogen in our upper atmosphere. The tension causes ionization of the atmospheric molecules and the release of light photons. Oxygen produces green and yellow light, while nitrogen creates a red and blue light.

We tend to see them only on Earth's northernmost and southern points (the Aurora's southern hemisphere Aurora is called australis) because the excited particles are pulled down by our planet's magnetic field lines that gather at the pole.

As for the dragon shape, yes, it is just down to luck. Although it is not difficult to see why people once thought that Aurora was the dancers of an ancestral or cosmic God.

The earth experiences more auroral activity during sun storms, where the solar wind is extremely abundant. NASA's picture of the day the blog notes that in early February did not appear to have any sunrises, so many reports of Aurora this month are "somewhat surprising".

Jingyi Zhang & Wang Zheng

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