Encore - Northern Lights Above Norway

April 04, 2020

Today and every Saturday Earth Science Picture of the Day invites you to rediscover favorites from the past. Saturday posts feature an EPOD that was chosen by viewers like you in our monthly Viewers' Choice polls. Join us as we look back at these intriguing and captivating images.
Photographer: Frank Olsen
Summary Authors: Frank Olsen; Jim Foster

June 2014 Viewer's ChoiceThe photo above features the scintillating spirals of a green aurora as observed from Andoya Island, Norway. The rock from which these northern lights seem to emanate is called Bleiksoya or Bleik island. Green colors occur when charged particles from the Sun (solar wind) excite nitrogen molecules and atoms in the Earth's upper atmosphere -- approximately 60 miles (96 km) above the Earth's surface. Note that the most vibrant colors and eye-catching shapes and patterns typically result from particularly strong solar flares. Bleik Island is acclaimed for having the largest puffin colonies in Norway. Photo taken around 11 p.m. on December 20, 2013.

Photo Details:  Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III; Software: Adobe Photoshop CC Windows; Exposure Time: 4.000s; ISO equivalent: 2000.