Milky Way and Equinox Aurora

By: Chirag Upreti


Vik, Iceland

2017 September 21


From the photographer: "Chasing auroras in Iceland, we were lucky to witness a unique aurora under fortunate circumstances that made this shot possible. Auroras are breathtaking and pretty (exponentially more so when viewed for the first time), however they are also a source of natural light pollution. Here, the aurora appeared to slowly spread from the north, to west then south. The sky over the city of Vik was predicted to be cloudy for the night, but there was a lucky break in the cloud cover that reveled the near vertical Milky Way in this dark site. The illumination of the aurora as it approached the Milky Way was in stark contrast to the dark sky. The slowly dancing wall of magenta and yellow hues was followed by a bright green diffused glow as it advanced towards the Milky Way. Interestingly, the clouds near the horizon also took on a prominent green hue. Also seen in the distant horizon, likely is a precipitation shaft of a far away storm. The foreground here is farmland that leads to the open ocean. About 10-15 minutes after this shot the green glow enveloped the sky and the Milky Way details were lost, soon after the clouds came in and we called it a night. This was a very pleasant and welcome surprise for the Autumn equinox!"
Technical details: A single-exposure image with Sony A7S2. Tamron 15-30mm. 15mm, f/2.8, 20 sec shutter speed at ISO 8000.
Chirag Upreti

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Related Keywords: Aurora | Milky Way | Autumn equinox | Single-exposure | Sony A7S2 |




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