Northern Lights Over Montana

December 27, 2017

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Photographer: Paul Holdorf
Summary Authors: Paul Holdorf; Jim Foster

December 2017 Viewer's ChoiceShown above is a bright green aurora that flared up over the northern skies of Montana late last May. A friend and I decided to chase it in order to get the best view possible. After a while, we came upon a perfectly calm lake and with a long exposure captured the northern lights, their reflection on the mirror-like water surface and the stars of the Milky Way. If you look closely, you can also see softer green colors in the vicinity of the Milky Way. These green colors, unrelated to the northern lights, are associated with the phenomenon of airglow. Notice that only the brightest stars are sufficiently bright to be reflected on the pond's still surface. Photo taken on May 27, 2017.