A Patronus Aurora over Iceland
Image: Hallgrimur P. Helgason; Constellation Annotation: Judy SchmidtExplanation: By 3:30 am in Iceland, on a quiet night last September, much of that night’s auroras had died down. Suddenly though, a new burst of particles streamed down from space, lighting up the Earth’s atmosphere once again. This time, unexpectedly, pareidoliacally, they created an amazing shape reminiscent of a giant eagle.
The mountain in the background is Helgafell, while the small foreground river is called Kaldá (Cold River in Icelandic), both located about 30 kilometers north of Iceland’s capital Reykjavik.
Seasoned skywatchers will note that just above the mountain, toward the left, is the constellation of Orion, while the Pleiades star cluster is also visible just above the frame center. The new aurora lasted only a minute.
Source: Astronomy Picture of the Day