Heavely fire, reflected in a cold lake

Jökulsárlón | Iceland

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The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) is a magnificent display of light arising from collisions from high energy particles, emitted by the sun and caugth the earth’s magnetic field, with Oxygen and Nitrogen atoms high in earth’s athmosphere. Depending on the type of atom and the height, different colors of light can be seen, although green is the most dominant color, followed by red.

Most of the aurora is confined in a ring between 65 and 72 degrees of latitude. When the sun is unusually active this ring can extend to higher and lower latitudes. To see the aurora, you need a dark location. Having said that, some moonlight can actually help to light the foreground interest. The activity of the sun determines the chances of seeing the aurora. This is connected to the 11 year activity cycle of the sun, which determines the basic level of activity. On top op that, occasional mass ejections from the sun cause intense displays.

When in a location where aurora activity is likely, it is a good idea to check the activity forecast on  http://www.gi.alaska.edu/AuroraForecast/Europe/ Having said that, these images were taken on a night of a forecast for “low activity”. Keep looking up for yourself!