Powerful solar storms dazzle in annual aurora photography gallery

Powerful solar storms dazzle in annual aurora photography gallery

The Sun is approaching the most active period of the solar cycle, which is great news for aurora photographers around the world. As such, Capture the Atlas’ annual Northern Lights Photographer of the Year collection is particularly vibrant this year, showcasing stunning light shows from southern Australia up to the Arctic.

Every year Dan Zafra, Editor-in-Chief of the travel photography blog Capture the Atlas, pulls together a couple dozen of the best images of the aurora taken that season. Now in its sixth year, this iteration of the Northern Lights Photographer of the Year collection features 25 photographers of 13 different nationalities, snapping images in 11 different countries.

This year feels different though. The Sun is kicking into the active part of its 11-year cycle of activity, with a flurry of flares that have caught scientists off-guard. Solar maximum, as it’s known, is a whole year ahead of schedule and forecast to be stronger and longer-lasting than usual.

The good news is that this supercharges the natural light show, bringing starker details and more vibrant colors to the aurorae, as well as making them visible in more places around the globe. And this is clear in the entries for 2023’s Northern Lights Photographer of the Year collection.

The Arctic Dance by Vincent Beudez, taken in Northern Norway. The strongest solar storm of the year, created a dancing red curtain and sharp, shimmering beams
The Arctic Dance by Vincent Beudez, taken in Northern Norway. The strongest solar storm of the year, created a dancing red curtain and sharp, shimmering beams

Vincent Beudez

A perfect example is this image, named The Arctic Dance by French photographer Vincent Beudez. It was taken in Northern Norway during the strongest solar storm of the year, resulting in a dancing red curtain and shimmering beams unlike any the photographer had seen before.

Many more astounding aurora images can be found in our gallery, and you can browse the rest of the collection over on Capture the Atlas. If that’s not enough to satisfy your curiosity, check out last year’s photos or the blog’s other annual collection showing off the Milky Way.

Source: Capture the Atlas

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