Incredible images of the Aurora Borealis
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Posted 19 March 2011 - 06:43 PM
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At first glance, it looks like these stunning images of the Aurora Borealis were taken in broad daylight. But the blue sky has instead been created by a dazzling full moon. Photographer Kerstin Langenberger caught the Northern Lights on camera during 300 hours she spent chasing the natural phenomenon in Iceland.
Her images reveal how the mystically beautiful landscape of the untouched Thingvellir National Park - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - became cloaked in a multi-coloured explosion of light. The curtains of green and purple light make the brightly lit snow-capped mountains and crystal clear fjords appear part of an alien world.
Ms Langenberger, 28, originally from Germany but currently living in Iceland, said: 'Northern lights could never be observed during the day. They're just not bright enough. 'But on nights when the moon lit up sky and land, the aurora was a fantastic sight. 'The aurora has to be bright and strong to be visible on the blue sky created by the moon. This does not happen so very often, which makes pictures like these extremely rare.'
Ms Langenberger used her knowledge of the sun and moon's rise positions to get the perfect colours in her shots. In darker images she captured twinkling constellations of stars.
'It's easiest to observe aurora during new moon when the night sky is pitch black,' she said. 'Then even the faintest aurora becomes visible.' Northern Lights appear suddenly and can last only a matter of seconds before they vanish without a trace. Ms Langenberger had to plan ahead and arrive at her destination during the day to have time to set up her equipment and wait patiently in the hope of seeing the often elusive phenomenon.
'It is hard to predict an aurora,' she said. 'I'm more than happy if I get two really nice pictures from one night. 'The difficult thing is you never know where it will appear and what it will look like.
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