Mesmerizing Aurora in Dramatic Landscapes of Fire, Ice, and Shadow

Illustration for article titled Mesmerizing Aurora in Dramatic Landscapes of Fire, Ice, and Shadow

Aurora are beautiful, but the fire and smoke of Bárðarbunga step it up to gorgeous. The weekend kicked off with the Earth putting on a glorious display of green, blue, purple, and red, and countless photographers braved varied terrain to capture the ephemeral light for your viewing pleasure.

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Top image: The soft glow of Bárðarbunga erupting on the horizon with northern lights flickering overhead. Credit: Mike Herbert of Dreki Adventures; more in this gallery.

Illustration for article titled Mesmerizing Aurora in Dramatic Landscapes of Fire, Ice, and Shadow
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Auroras on September 12, 2014 in Kvaløya, Tromsø, Norway. Credit: Harald Albrigtsen

Earlier this week, a sunspot produced an X-class solar flare, which led to a coronal mass ejection. Those solar particles have impacted the Earth's magnetic field, producing a geomagnetic storm. Our planet kicked off the weekend with dancing, nebulous, colourful auroras.

Although the forecast predicted good visibility for the aurora in my beloved hometown, so far I've had to content myself with photographs collected by other insomniacs drawn to the flickering lights. My favourite is easy to pick — an outstanding photograph from Deki Adventures in Iceland with the soft glow of lava on the horizon and northern lights dancing overhead — but I had a hard time limiting my selections to a reasonable number after that!

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Illustration for article titled Mesmerizing Aurora in Dramatic Landscapes of Fire, Ice, and Shadow

Image credit: Mount Washington Observatory

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Abisko National Park, Sweden.. Image credit: Mat Richardson

Illustration for article titled Mesmerizing Aurora in Dramatic Landscapes of Fire, Ice, and Shadow
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Aurora, full moon, and the Holuhraun eruption from outside the sulfur dioxide exclusion zone. Svartárkot, Iceland. Image credit: Sean Michael Scully

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Illustration for article titled Mesmerizing Aurora in Dramatic Landscapes of Fire, Ice, and Shadow

Fairbanks, Alaska. Image credit: JN Hall

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Illustration for article titled Mesmerizing Aurora in Dramatic Landscapes of Fire, Ice, and Shadow

Aurora Australis at Papanui Inlet, Otago Peninsula, Otago, New Zealand. Image credit: Ian Griffin

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Illustration for article titled Mesmerizing Aurora in Dramatic Landscapes of Fire, Ice, and Shadow

Muonio, Finland. Image credit: Mika Wist

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Brensholmen, Kvaløya, Troms, Norway. Image credit: Bernt Olsen

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Almelund, Minnesota, USA. Image credit: Michael Aguirre

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Muonio, Finland. Image credit: Mika Wist

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Cape Sable island Nova Scotia, Canada. Image credit: Stefan Messenger

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Illustration for article titled Mesmerizing Aurora in Dramatic Landscapes of Fire, Ice, and Shadow

Salla, Finnish-Lapland. Image credit: B.Art Braafhart

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Vieremä, Savo, Finland. Image credit: Katja Moisio

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Kattfjord, Tromsø, Norway. Image credit: Erling Sverre Nordøy

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Winnowing down my selection to a reasonable number was a far more difficult task than anyone should undertake after 5pm on Friday. If you like any particular aurora here, use the photographer's name-link to see other photos they took.If you want yet more aurora gorgeousness, I recommend checking out this spaceweather gallery.

Did any of you see the aurora? Share your stories (and better yet, your photographs!)

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DISCUSSION

autumnshroud
Autumnshroud

The sunsets in the last week to week-and-a-half have been absolutely stunning. On September 7th, we saw colours we've never seen before (and hubby and I have been watching—and photographing—this sunset view for almost 13 years). Here's a few shots just from that night:

It looked like the world was ending or something.

Not sure if any of this is related, but there's been a noticeable change in the colours.