Stunning Vistas: Comet PANSTARRS Meets the Aurora

by Nancy Atkinson on April 1, 2013

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I’m completely envious of this view! Not only is there a stunning winter vista of mountains and a fjord near Tromso, Norway, but in the peaceful evening twilight, Comet PanSTARRS (C/2011 L4) shows up. To top off the view, a sudden burst of aurora borealis makes an appearance! This view was captured by Babak Tafreshi on March 20, 2013.

See some of his stunning images below:

Click on each of the images for a larger view at Tafreshi’s website.

The northern lights or aurora borealis swirls over a fjord in the Norwegian Sea near Tromso, northern Norway. A mix of moonlight, aurora, and a nearby village illuminate the landscape. The Pleiades Star Cluster (the Seven Sisters) appears on the upper left. Credit and copyright: Babak A. Tafreshi.

The northern lights or aurora borealis swirls over a fjord in the Norwegian Sea near Tromso, northern Norway. A mix of moonlight, aurora, and a nearby village illuminate the landscape. The Pleiades Star Cluster (the Seven Sisters) appears on the upper left. Credit and copyright: Babak A. Tafreshi.

The northern lights or aurora borealis dances over a fjord mountains near Tromso, northern Norway. A mix of moonlight, aurora, and a nearby village illuminate the the landscape. Bright planet Jupiter and the Pleiades Star Cluster (the Seven Sisters) appear over the mountains. Credit and copyright: Babak A. Tafreshi.

The northern lights or aurora borealis dances over a fjord mountains near Tromso, northern Norway. A mix of moonlight, aurora, and a nearby village illuminate the the landscape. Bright planet Jupiter and the Pleiades Star Cluster (the Seven Sisters) appear over the mountains. Credit and copyright: Babak A. Tafreshi.

A fisheye view of the northern lights as it swirls over a fjord in the Norwegian Sea near Tromso, northern Norway. A mix of moonlight, aurora, and a nearby village illuminates the the landscape. Credit: Babak A. Tafreshi.

A fisheye view of the northern lights as it swirls over a fjord in the Norwegian Sea near Tromso, northern Norway. A mix of moonlight, aurora, and a nearby village illuminates the the landscape. Credit: Babak A. Tafreshi.

Comet and the Northern Lights from Babak Tafreshi on Vimeo.

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also is the host of the NASA Lunar Science Institute podcast and works with Astronomy Cast. Nancy is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Olaf2 April 1, 2013 at 7:23 PM

I know that an incoming solar flare follows Earth’s magnetic field.
But does this show the magnetic field lines of Earth or is it just a random pattern?

Me April 2, 2013 at 1:54 AM

Olaf2..NASA is planning a mission called “MMS”. We are working on & have a piece of the mission/contract for the “Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission”. It is due to launch in 2014 sometime. We need the ‘MMS to.get more info on the phenomenon. The patterns are a mystery. The problem is the portals are invisible, elusive & unstable. The crazy thing open’s & close’s with out warning. Someday I will be able to help explain this in detail to you & whomever. Take care bud ;-)..

sila452 April 2, 2013 at 12:14 PM

tinyurl.com/cnaff79.

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