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Iceland Mag


An amazing photo of the Aurora in Iceland is NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day

By Staff

  • Kerið and the Aurora An amazing astronomy photo taken by local photographer of the Aurora over Kerið volcanic crater in South Iceland. Photo/NASA-Sigurður William Brynjarsson

Each day NASA publishes a different image of the universe to spark interest in astronomy, science and the night sky. The photographs are accompanied with an explanation from an professional astronomer, pointing out the details in the picture, and always fascinating, and sometimes truly beautiful.

Yesterday's picture of the Aurora over South Iceland is one of those examples. Taken by a local photographer, Sigurður William Brynjarsson, the photo shows the Northern Lights over the volcanic crater Kerið in South Iceland, with the mountain Búrfell in the backgrund. But of course the night sky plays the main role!

You can click on the picture above to see the full image, without the NASA annotation, or scroll down.

aurora, Kerið, NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day
Aurora and Kerið The photo with NASA's annotation. Photo/Astronomy Picture of the Day, by NASA, Sigurður William Brynjarsson

And here's NASA's explanation of what you see:

"You don't always see a scene this beautiful when you hike to an ancient volcano -- you have to be lucky. When the astrophotographer realized that aurora were visible two-weeks ago, he made a night-time run for the top of the caldera to see if he could capture them also reflected in the central lake. When he arrived, he found that ... the northern lights were even brighter and more impressive than before! And his image of them is the featured 13-frame panoramic mosaic. The crater lake in the center is called Kerid (Icelandic: Kerið) and is about 3,000 years old. The aurora overhead shows impressive colors and banding, with the red colors occurring higher in the Earth's atmosphere than the green. The background sky is filled with icons of the northern night including Polaris, the Pleiades star cluster, and the stars that compose the handle of the Big Dipper." 

aurora, Kerið, NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day

A Stunning view It is easy to see why NASA picked this photo as their astrnonomy shot of the day! Photo/NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day, by NASA, Sigurður William Brynjarsson

You should head over to NASA to check out more astronomy pictures, or visit the photo stream of Sigurður William Brynjarsson on Facebook or Flickr for more amazing photos of the Aurora and night sky in Iceland!


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