This Perfect Shot Of The Northern Lights Makes A Group Of Grain Silos Look Radioactive

Picture: Alan Dyer,

Here’s an incredible pic of the Northern Lights putting on a show in Alberta, Canada.

The shot is actually a 7-segment, 180-degree panorama. It was taken by astrophotographer Alan Dyer on Friday night, who gave us permission to run it. Here’s the expanded view:

You can see a larger version on Dyer’s Flickr page, and much more of his incredible work at

While the centrepiece of the above shot is the aurora glow behind the grain bins (Dyer says it was a “modest aurora”), Dyer likes it for the fact it features a phenomenon known as “airglow”.

That’s the band of red and green you can see in the sky above the aurora itself.

Airglow, according to Dyer, is “light from fluorescing air molecules releasing energy absorbed from the Sun by day”.

The yellow lights of Strathmore and Calgary add nice bookends to the left and right respectively and the sharp edge of the aurora shooting up from the silos on the left is real, Dyer says. It was present in three of the seven frames and not a product of stitching the images together.

The Big Dipper is left of centre, low in the north.

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