Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Aurora Jellyfish Parachute

Jan. 26, 2010 -- This was the view looking over the small town of Andenes, Norway, on Jan. 20. Snaking across the sky from horizon to horizon was a dynamic green aurora, signaling to the inhabitants of Earth that the sun was spraying us with an intense stream of energetic particles.

The photographer, Per-Arne Mikalsen, captured the resulting aurora using a Canon EOS 450D camera (with a Sigma 10-20mm 1:4-5.6 DC HSM lens), but it wasn't until after he took the photo that he realized that he'd captured something unexpected in his lens.

After communicating with Norwegian aurora expert Truls Lynne Hansen of the Tromsø Geophysical Observatory, compelling evidence that the green structure hidden in the top right of the photograph could be a reflection (or 'flare') from a satellite flying hundreds of miles above the intense aurora.

"...the color of the 'phenomenon' is the same as the color in the aurora, the auroral green line from atomic oxygen," Hansen told Discovery News, "so the 'phenomenon' is either a genuine auroral feature or a reflection of auroral light somewhere in space."

Found Here:

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