Take a Virtual Tour Of an Aurora as it Dances Before Your Eyes

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April 9 2013 12:54 PM

Immerse Yourself in a Virtual Aurora

Aurora over Östersund, Sweden
Aurora over Östersund, Sweden on Mar. 17, 2013. Click to enborealate.

Image credit: Göran Strand

This is pretty cool: Photographer Göran Strand (who took one of the amazing comet and galaxy pictures I posted recently) went to a town in Sweden called Östersund on Mar. 17, 2013. He set up his camera and took 30 Gb of images of the dancing aurora borealis that night. Not satisfied with just having gorgeous pictures of the experience, he put them together into a virtual video tour that allows you to pan and scan through the sky as the aurorae unfolds in front of you:

I had to shrink it to fit the blog here and it doesn’t quite work the way it should, so I strongly urge you to go to his site and play with it yourself in full resolution. I’ve seen a lot of these virtual tours before, but not one that has video that plays as you move around. That’s pretty nifty. It’s fun to watch Orion and Jupiter set as the green glow from high-speed subatomic particles from the Sun slam into our atmosphere 100 kilometers up.

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death from the Skies! Follow him on Twitter.