Every day NASA posts a new astronomy-related picture to their site. I am going to bring them to you in case you forget.
Today’s annotated Image is titled Meteors And Aurorae Over Iceland.
Click image to view full size.
Explanation: What’s going on behind that volcano? Quite a bit. First of all, the volcano itself, named Kirkjufell, is quite old and located in western Iceland near the town of Grundarfjörður. In front of thesteeply-sloped structure lies a fjord that had just began to freeze when the above image was taken — in mid-December of 2012. Although quite faint to the unaided eye, the beautiful colors of background aurorae became quite apparent on the 25-second exposure. What makes this image is of particular note, though, is that also captures streaks from the Geminids meteor shower — meteors that might not have been evident were the aurora much brighter. Far in the distance, on the left, is the band of our Milky Way Galaxy, while stars from our local part of the Milky Way appear spread across the background. This weekend the Perseidsmeteorshower will peak and may well provide sky enthusiasts with their own memorable visual experiences.