Spiral Aurora over Iceland

A majestic Spiral Aurora over Iceland, captured late last month, noted by Icelanders for its great brightness and quick development.   Image credit Davide Necchi

The aurora resulted from a solar storm, with high energy particles bursting out from the Sun and through a crack in Earth’s protective magnetosphere a few days later. Although a spiral pattern can be discerned, creative humans might imagine the complex glow as an atmospheric apparition of any number of common icons.



In the foreground of the featured image is the Ölfusá River, while the lights illuminate a bridge in Selfoss City. Just beyond the low clouds is a nearly full Moon. The liveliness of the Sun — and the resulting auroras on Earth — is slowly diminishing as the Sun emerges from a Solar maximum of surface activity and evolves towards a historically more quite period in its 11-year cycle.

source APOD