|Click on the picture to enlarge|
This spectacular picture of the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights, seen over a pond near Hillesoy, Norway was titled Earth and Space by Ole C Salomonsen, the Norwegian photographer who took it.
It has been named runner up (and my favourite) in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year, 2011 awards organised by the Royal Observatory Greenwich and Sky at Night magazine.
Wikipedia tells me:
'An aurora is a natural light display in the sky particularly in the high latitude regions, caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere. The charged particles originate in the magnetosphere and solar wind and are directed by the Earth's magnetic field into the atmosphere.'
So now you know.
A free exhibition of the best pictures can be seen at the Observatory until February 2012 and they are quite stunning. You can see some here: