Rainbow of Aurora
At the end of October I had the the chance to spend a week in Alaska. I timed this trip with the arrival of a solar wind stream so the northern lights would be extra active. The sky only stayed clear for a couple hours on this night, but that was enough to see this bright ‘aurora rainbow.’ Only by shooting a panorama with my widest lens could I capture all of it. Most of the lakes and wetlands around Fairbanks had these bubbles in them. They are made of methane gas suspended in the ice. Just 30-40 cm underground is the permafrost, which normally stays frozen year round. But as the Arctic warms and the permafrost thaws, the decaying plant matter (also known as peat) releases methane into the atmosphere. During the summer this gas is invisible. But for a short time after the water freezes and before it gets covered with snow, these frozen bubbles are visible. Many area lakes have such a high concentration of methane that it’s actually possible to pop these bubbles and light them on fire.
- Kevin Palmer
- Image Size
- 8177x4089 / 11.4MB
2019, Alaska, Fairbanks, October, United States, astronomy, astrophotography, aurora, aurora borealis, autumn, boreal forest, bubbles, clouds, cold, colorful, dark, evening, fall, frozen, geomagnetic storm, green, ice, icy, kevin palmer, methane, night, nikon d750, northern lights, panorama, panoramic, pond, rainbow, sigma 14mm f1.8, sky, space, starry, stars, stitched, stripes, wetland
- Contained in galleries
- Night Sky, Northern Lights, Recent Work, Panoramas, Alaska