Five days before this image was captured over Norway in 2012, a large coronal mass ejection occurred on the sun, throwing a cloud of fast moving electrons, protons, and ions toward the Earth. To wit:

Although most of this cloud passed above the Earth, some of it impacted our Earth’s magnetosphere and resulted in spectacular auroras being seen at high northern latitudes. Featured here is a particularly photogenic auroral corona captured above GrotfjordNorway. To some, this shimmering green glow of recombining atmospheric oxygen might appear as a large eagle, but feel free to share what it looks like to you. Although the Sun is near Solar Minimum, streams of the solar wind continue to impact the Earth and create impressive auroras visible even last week.

(Image: Bjørn Jørgensen)

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