A crown of northern lights

An aurora corona captured on film at Þingvellir national park ...

An aurora corona captured on film at Þingvellir national park on Saturday. Photo/ Sigurður William

Anna Margrét Björnsson

Photographer Sigurður William captured this stunning shot of the northern lights forming an aurora corona at Þingvellir national park on Saturday. This 180° panorama picture beautifully shows the green lights caused by oxygen which is at an altitude of 100 kilometres, the purple lights from nitrate which is at a slightly lower altitude then the oxygen and the white lights which occur when all the colours merge together.

"When I took the picture the crown was straight above me and stretched into all directions," explains photographer Sigurður William who adds that the lights would not be domed shaped seen through regular eyes but appear dome shaped because of the panorama shot,

Astronomer Sævar Helgi Bragason explains that a crown of northern lights is called an aurora corona and is a relatively common phenomenon. "It's a very interesting shot and also shows the moon just above the mountain with Jupiter nearby. "

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