The Tempest

The Tempest

by Cyril Simon Wedlund, BIRA-IASB, Brussels, Belgium

Measuring the aurora.
This picture was taken while doing an optical/radar coordinated campaign in Svalbard, Norway, near the settlement of Longyearbyen. In this campaign, we were measuring for the first time the polarisation of the auroral 'red line' of atomic oxygen with a photopolarimeter and were running the radars in order to have a better understanding of the state of the ionosphere.
The air was crisp and cold (-20 C), the sky was clear but there was a lot of wind (around 15 m/s). This aurora was very dynamic and one of the most beautiful that we watched during this period of waning solar activity.
The antenna is the fixed field-aligned 42-m dish of the European Incoherent Scatter Svalbard Radar facility (EISCAT ESR).

Finalist in the EGU Photo Competition 2011