An amazingly beautiful aurora image by James Woodend wins the Royal Museum Greenwich‘s contest for the 2014 Astronomy Photographer of the Year. See the top images at Earth & Space : 2014 winners : Exhibitions : What’s on : RMG
Aurora over a Glacier Lagoon by James Woodend, UK
9 January 2014
Canon 5D Mk III camera; 33mm f/3.2 lens; ISO 1000; 10-second exposure
What the photographer says…
Although this is not a strong aurora, they sometimes make the best reflection shots. The water was very still – you can see the icebergs floating in the lagoon and their reflections. In the background is the Vatnajökull Glacier.
What it shows…
The pale-green glow of the aurora comes from oxygen atoms high in the atmosphere, energized by subatomic particles blasted out by the Sun. The particles are funnelled down towards the north and south poles by the Earth’s magnetic field, which is why these spectacular light shows are so often juxtaposed with the frozen scenery of the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Here the photographer has skilfully captured the delicate, icy colouration of land, water and sky.
Here’s a series of videos about the contest leading up to the winners: