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Starryscape at 69 North

By: Babak A. Tafreshi

 

Region: Europe

Site: Lofoten Islands - Norway

Date: 2009 November 7

The Moon, northern stars and Aurora Borealis appear above a fjord in the fantastic beauty of Lofoten Islands in northern Norway. As noted by the photographer "At latitude 69 degrees I was well inside the Arctic region. It was a crystal clear night in Lofoten, quite rare in autumn. The Moon was shining on the calm waters of the Norwegian Sea, sinking through fantastic fjord structure of the area. Driving on the road with my astronomer friend Shahin Jafarzadeh, we were hopeless to see any aurora in this low solar activity time. I was suddenly shocked by moving green rays and cloud looking formations toward north. It was not a major aurora activity but the scene was spectacular. The summer constellations of Cygnus and Lyra were sinking in the west, the Moon and winter stars were rising from the east, and the Big Bear creeping above the dancing lights." Aurora is produced by the collision of charged particles from Earth's magnetosphere, mostly electrons but also protons and heavier particles, with atoms and molecules of Earth's atmosphere (at altitudes above 80 km). The particles originate from the Sun and reach the Earth in the stream of solar wind. Babak Tafreshi/Dreamview.net

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