Green aurorae unfurl above Vatnajökull, Iceland's largest glacier, in this spellbinding photo by French photographer Stéphane Vetter.

Photo featured by kind permission of Stéphane Vetter

Via NASA APOD points out a few more of the phenomena visible in this photo:

On the far right is a long and unusual lenticular cloud tinged with green light emitted from another aurora well behind it. Just above this lenticular cloud are unusual iridescent lenticular clouds displaying a broad spectral range of colors. Far beyond the lenticular is the setting Moon, while far beyond even the Moon are setting stars.


I had the pleasure of visiting Iceland for the first time earlier this year, and can confirm what these photos – and photos like them – suggest: that it is without question one of the most magical places on the planet (the mayor of Reykjavík, the country's capital, is pretty magical, too). I was there in the summertime, so I didn't get a chance to see any aurorae, but Vetter's photos are a stunning reminder of why I'm excited to visit again, even in the dark winter months.


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