Photo credit: Alan Dyer
Amateur astronomer and photographer Alan Dyer just happened to be relaxing in his backyard in Strathmore, Canada, when he saw the lights of a rare double aurora dancing overhead. So, he grabbed his photography equipment and started filming. Some call this phenomenon a ‘celestial watermelon’ due to the green aurora in the lower section, while the magneta above is a bit more mysterious.
Scientists have studied stable auroral red arcs for quite some time, but have not yet determined how they form. They theorize that a part of Earth’s magnetic field heats up the atmosphere, thus jostling particles and producing the red arc. The Aurora Borealis from the ISS looks just as impressive.
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I knew I had something interesting. We can make a unique contribution to science. [After all], you never know what’s going to appear,” said Dyer.