STARGAZERS were treated to the spectacular sight of a giant green dragon in the sky over Iceland earlier this month.
Photographers captured the incredible formation in the northern lights – which Nasa explained was caused by a hole in the Sun.
Jingyi Zhang and Wang Zheng / NASA The stunning photograph reveals a huge dragon rearing its head in the sky over Iceland earlier this month
The snap was so impressive that Nasa released it as its ‘Astronomy Picture of the Day’ for February 18, 2019.
The image – captured by photographers Jingyi Zhang and Wang Zheng – clearly shows an enormous dragon-like creature in the sky.
Of course, Iceland natives don’t have to worry about a real dragon in the sky.
This was simply a lucky auroral formation that Nasa described as “surprising”.
SWNS:South West News Service A similarly impressive snap was captured over Reykjavik, Iceland back in 2017
In a post on the official Nasa website, astronomers explained that the dragon had come from a hole in the Sun – which isn’t an uncommon occurrence.
“The aurora was caused by a hole in the Sun’s corona that expelled charged particles into a solar wind that followed a changing interplanetary magnetic field to Earth’s magnetosphere,” Nasa explained.
“As some of those particles then struck Earth’s atmosphere, they excited atoms which subsequently emitted light: aurora.”
Auroras – how do they work?Here’s the official explanation from Nasa…
The dancing lights of the auroras provide spectacular views on the ground, but also capture the imagination of scientists who study incoming energy and particles from the sun
Auroras are one effect of such energetic particles, which can speed out from the sun both in a steady stream called the solar wind and due to giant eruptions known as coronal mass ejections or CMEs
After a trip toward Earth that can last two to three days, the solar particles and magnetic fields cause the release of particles already trapped near Earth, which in turn trigger reactions in the upper atmosphere in which oxygen and nitrogen molecules release photons of light
The result: the Northern and Southern lights.
Spy plane captures incredible photos while flying THROUGH the Northern Lights
This instance was particularly impressive given that current Sun conditions should’ve meant a quiet month in terms of auroral sightings.
“No sunspots have appeared on the Sun so far in February, making the multiple days of picturesque auroral activity this month somewhat surprising,” a Nasa expert wrote.
In fact, the photograph taken by Zhang and Zheng actually captures the excitement of seeing a dragon in the sky perfectly.
“This iconic display was so enthralling that the photographer’s mother ran out to see it and was captured in the foreground,” Nasa revealed.
Ross Parry – SWNS One image taken by Scottish snapper Graeme Whipps in Iceland was described as looking like the Grinch
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Have you ever spotted any shapes in the clouds – or better yet, the northern lights? Let us know in the comments!
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