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 works with Astronomy Cast, and is 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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