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Surprising Science

Aurora Dog Over Alaska

Last month, near Fairbanks, in central Alaska, John Chumack, an astrophotographer, captured this incredible shot while leading his annual aurora tour, according to NASA. What does the aurora look like to you? Look closely. Do you see a curly tail? A jumping dog?

The 15-second exposure through a wide-angle lens captured this uncanny canine shape and a sky filled with familiar objects. Jupiter can be seen “peering through” the “dog’s front legs,” and the bright reddish Mars “looks out” from beneath the “hind legs.” Above the apparition of the dog’s midsection is the Big Dipper, and to the right the reddish star Betelgeuse.

The aura did not hold its dog pose for very long. It morphed into other shapes as the particles of the geomagnetic storm raged on.

Image credit: NASA


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