J Hansen

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What it's like to live in 24 hours of darkness at the northernmost edge of the civilized world

A few weeks ago, I was unexpectedly invited to Oslo, Norway, as part of a business trip to meet with a new Norwegian client. It seemed destiny was hellbent on sending me to the Northern latitudes in winter, but I had already been to Norway before to chase auroras.<p>On all my other trips, I had …

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Little Wonders © 2015 Tor-Ivar Næss It's saturday and movie night with my little family, so I thought I'd share a movie like edit of the northern lights. The capture was done near a pond on Sørkjosfjellet in Nordreisa, Norway. It's not my normal "brand" of edit, but I am curious to know what you guys think. Like it? Feel free to share! :) #movienight #auroraborealis #northernnorway

The Rock © Tor-Ivar Næss The northern lights reflects in a small pond by the shore. Across the fjord lies the Lyngen Alps. Above the alps, the northern lights. Feel free to share :) Captured at Spåkenes in Kåfjord, Troms, Norway. #northernlights #alps #reflection

Dritifting Lights © 2015 Tor-Ivar Næss More or less the whole population within the arctic circle was expecting an inferno of northern lights lighting up the nightsky this peaceful January night. However the anticipated X-flare didn't ignite a geomagnetic storm. Behind me was the moon luminating the snow covered landscape as the aurora borealis drifted slowly above me. I think this is one of my most peaceful captures of the northern lights so far. What do you think? like it? :) Feel free to share this one :) #winter #auroraborealis #peaceful

Lights On © 2015 Tor-Ivar Næss A M-flare sparks into a geomagnetic storm above the Lyngen Alps in Kåfjord, Troms, Norway a late afternoon in September (2014). Since it's not completely dark outside at this point of day it's hard to see the nuances in the northern lights, however the camera can pick these up without much effort at all. I've said before that during some of these shows I might scream like a teenage girl, I was very close this time, but I had to control myself as I was on private property (ninja-style) :D What do you guys think about this one? #storm #september #northernnorway

Icelandic Skies 1 | 2 | 3 by Erez Marom

APOD: Aurora Shimmer, Meteor Flash (2014 Dec 07) Image Credit & Copyright: Bjørnar G. Hansen http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap141207.html Explanation: Northern Lights, or aurora borealis, haunted skies over the island of Kvaløya, near Tromsø Norway on 2009 December 13. This 30 second long exposure records their shimmering glow gently lighting the wintery coastal scene. A study in contrasts, it also captures the sudden flash of a fireball meteor from the excellent Geminid meteor shower in 2009 December. Streaking past familiar stars in the handle of the Big Dipper, the trail points back toward the constellation Gemini, off the top of the view. Both aurora and meteors occur in Earth's upper atmosphere at altitudes of 100 kilometers or so, but aurora caused by energetic charged particles from the magnetosphere, while meteors are trails of cosmic dust. Toward the end of this week the 2014 Geminids meteor shower will peak, although they will compete with the din of last quarter moonlight. Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=141207 #APOD

APOD: Too Close to a Black Hole (2014 Oct 26) Image Credit & Copyright: Alain Riazuelo http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap141026.html Explanation: What would you see if you went right up to a black hole? Featured is a computer generated image highlighting how strange things would look. The black hole has such strong gravity that light is noticeably bent towards it - causing some very unusual visual distortions. Every star in the normal frame has at least two bright images - one on each side of the black hole. Near the black hole, you can see the whole sky - light from every direction is bent around and comes back to you. The original background map was taken from the 2MASS infrared sky survey, with stars from the Henry Draper catalog superposed. Black holes are thought to be the densest state of matter, and there is indirect evidence for their presence in stellar binary systems and the centers of globular clusters, galaxies, and quasars. http://www2.iap.fr/users/riazuelo/index.php Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=141026 #APOD

APOD: In Green Company: Aurora over Norway (2014 Nov 03) Image Credit & Copyright: Max Rive http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap141103.html Explanation: Raise your arms if you see an aurora. With those instructions, two nights went by with, well, clouds -- mostly. On the third night of returning to same peaks, though, the sky not only cleared up but lit up with a spectacular auroral display. Arms went high in the air, patience and experience paid off, and the amazing featured image was captured. The setting is a summit of the Austnesfjorden fjord close to the town of Svolvear on the Lofoten islands in northern Norway. The time was early March. Our Sun has been producing an abundance of picturesque aurora of late as it is near the time of its maximum surface activity in its 11-year magnetic cycle. http://www.flickr.com/photos/apojapo/ http://www.facebook.com/pages/Max-Rive-Photography/182378168614600 Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=141103 #APOD

APOD: Auroral Corona over Norway (2014 Oct 14) Image Credit & Copyright: Harald Albrigtsen http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap141014.html Explanation: Higher than the highest mountain lies the realm of the aurora. Auroras rarely reach below 60 kilometers, and can range up to 1000 kilometers. Aurora light results from energetic electrons and protons striking atoms and molecules in the Earth's atmosphere. Somewhat uncommon, an auroral corona appears as a center point for a surrounding display and may occur when an aurora develops directly overhead, or when auroral rays are pointed nearly toward the observer. This picturesque but brief green and purple aurora exhibition occurred last month high above Kvaløya, Tromsø, Norway. The Sessøyfjorden fjord runs through the foreground, while numerous stars are visible far in the distance. 2015 APOD Calendar: Land and Skyscapes http://friendsofapod.org/?page_id=42 Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=141014 #APOD

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014 - in pictures

The Royal Observatory Greenwich has announced the winners of this year’s international astronomy photography competition. The observatory’s annual free exhibition, which opened on Thursday, showcases these dazzling images of the sky, ranging from within our solar system to far into deep space. …

APOD: Aurora and Volcanic Light Pillar (2014 Sep 23) Image Credit & Copyright: Stéphane Vetter (Nuits sacrées) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140923.html Explanation: That's no sunset. And that thin red line just above it -- that's not a sun pillar. The red glow on the horizon originates from a volcanic eruption, and the red line is the eruption's reflection from fluttering atmospheric ice crystals. This unusual volcanic light pillar was captured over Iceland earlier this month. The featured scene looks north from Jökulsárlón toward the erupting volcano Bárðarbunga in the Holuhraun lava field. Even the foreground sky is picturesque, with textured grey clouds in the lower atmosphere, shimmering green aurora in the upper atmosphere, and bright stars far in the distance. Although the last eruption from Holuhraun was in 1797, the present volcanic activity continues. http://www.nuitsacrees.fr/ Land and Skyscapes Wall Calendar: http://friendsofapod.org/?page_id=42 Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140923 #APOD

APOD: Aurora Dog over Alaska (2014 Apr 29) Image Credit & Copyright: John Chumack http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140429.html Explanation: Sometimes it is hard to believe what you see in the sky. While leading his annual aurora tour last month near Fairbanks in central Alaska, astrophotographer John Chumack and his company saw a most unusual aurora. This bright aurora appeared to change into the shape of a jumping dog, complete with a curly tail. He was able to capture the fleeting natural apparition in the above image with a 15-second exposure through a wide-angle lens. By coincidence, he also captured a background sky filled with familiar highlights. Planets visible include bright Jupiter through the dog's front legs and reddish Mars below the dog's hind legs. Stars visible include the Big Dipper stars above the dog's midsection and reddish Betelgeuse shining on the far right. This dog would not be following him home, however, and within a few minutes morphed into other shapes before the geomagnetic storm particles that created it shifted to strike the Earth elsewhere. http://www.galacticimages.com/catalog/about_us.php Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140429 #APOD

APOD: Auroras over Northern Canada (2014 Jul 14) Image Credit & Copyright: Kwon O Chul (TWAN) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140714.html Explanation: Gusting solar winds and blasts of charged particles from the Sun resulted in several rewarding nights last December for those anticipating auroras. The above image captured dramatic auroras stretching across a sky near the town of Yellowknife in northern Canada. The auroras were so bright that they not only inspired awe, but were easily visible on an image exposure of only 1.3 seconds. A video taken concurrently shows the dancing sky lights evolving in real time as tourists, many there just to see auroras, respond with cheers. The conical dwellings on the image right are teepees, while far in the background, near the image center, is the constellation of Orion. http://www.twanight.org/kwon Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140714 #APOD

APOD: Aurora over Maine (2014 Sep 17) Image Credit & Copyright: Jeremy P. Gray http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140917.html Explanation: It has been a good week for auroras. Earlier this month active sunspot region 2158 rotated into view and unleashed a series of flares and plasma ejections into the Solar System during its journey across the Sun's disk. In particular, a pair of Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) impacted the Earth's magnetosphere toward the end of last week, creating the most intense geomagnetic storm so far this year. Although power outages were feared by some, the most dramatic effects of these impacting plasma clouds were auroras seen as far south as Wisconsin, USA. In the featured image taken last Friday night, rays and sheets of multicolored auroras were captured over Acadia National Park, in Maine, USA. Since another CME plasma cloud is currently approaching the Earth, tonight offers another good chance to see an impressive auroral display. http://www.jeremypgrayphotography.com/about.html Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140917 #APOD