This photo is from an Arctic Geophysics research class that I teach every other spring. My group was in Utqiagvik (ne’ Barrow), Alaska at the end of February working on a new method for quickly determining the thickness of the sea ice.
One night we saw the aurorae were out and put on our gear (it was (-)40F with the wind) to go out and see them. We got to the beach and this rise at the edge of the shore ice, and the students were just amazed. I quietly moved back and put my camera on a 30-second exposure, hoping the students wouldn’t move. I shouldn’t have worried about that since they were utterly mesmerized by this once-in-their-lifetimes event. They were astounded by the beauty of the deadly particle flux from our sun being caught by Earth’s magnetic field, and turned into this amazing, living exhibition of now-benign color.
Rhett Herman, Radford University