APOD: In Green Company: Aurora over Norway (2023 Jan 22)

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APOD: In Green Company: Aurora over Norway (2023 Jan 22)

Post by APOD Robot » Sun Jan 22, 2023 5:10 am

Image In Green Company: Aurora over Norway

Explanation: Raise your arms if you see an aurora. With those instructions, two nights went by with, well, clouds -- mostly. On the third night of returning to same peaks, though, the sky not only cleared up but lit up with a spectacular auroral display. Arms went high in the air, patience and experience paid off, and the creative featured image was captured as a composite from three separate exposures. The setting is a summit of the Austnesfjorden fjord close to the town of Svolvear on the Lofoten islands in northern Norway. The time was early 2014. Although our Sun passed the solar minimum of its 11-year cycle only a few years ago, surface activity is picking up and already triggering more spectacular auroras here on Earth.

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Re: APOD: In Green Company: Aurora over Norway (2023 Jan 22)

Post by Ann » Sun Jan 22, 2023 6:18 am


This is a repeat image (it is Sunday after all, when the APOD editors have a day off), and it is a breathtakingly spectacular image, too.

A few questions here:

1: How the heck did that man manage to climb to the top of that crazy summit?? :shock:

2: The starry background of the aurora looks a little strange. The stars are very distinct, and they are of a relative similar brightness, but they don't form any recognizable constellations.

3: APOD Robot wrote:
The setting is a summit of the Austnesfjorden fjord
A summit of the Austnesfjorden fjord? A fjord does not have a summit, because it is a special sort of waterway.

Wikipedia wrote:

In physical geography, a fjord or fiord is a long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs, created by a glacier...

A true fjord is formed when a glacier cuts a U-shaped valley by ice segregation and abrasion of the surrounding bedrock. According to the standard model, glaciers formed in pre-glacial valleys with a gently sloping valley floor. The work of the glacier then left an overdeepened U-shaped valley that ends abruptly at a valley or trough end. Such valleys are fjords when flooded by the ocean. Thresholds above sea level create freshwater lakes.

So the breathtaking summit in today's APOD may be located next to a fjord, but what is the name of the summit?

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Re: APOD: In Green Company: Aurora over Norway (2023 Jan 22)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun Jan 22, 2023 11:51 am

Ann wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 6:18 am So the breathtaking summit in today's APOD may be located next to a fjord, but what is the name of the summit?
Pilan Peak. And while it has that nice pointy top when shot from the right angle, it's actually quite accessible along its long ridgeline. (The photographer's position might have been trickier to get to than the summit.)
_
Screenshot 2023-01-22 044849.png
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Re: APOD: In Green Company: Aurora over Norway (2023 Jan 22)

Post by Holger Nielsen » Sun Jan 22, 2023 12:27 pm

When this image was posted on APOD several years ago, I had the same problems with it as Ann.

An earlier post http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?t=41170 suggests that the peak is ”Pilan” looking over Laupstad in the Austnesfjord. According to https://mapcarta.com/N6391608680 Pilan’s position is 69° 22′ 12″ N and 14° 40′ 43″. Google Earth shows that this is a relatively flat peak at an altitude of 700 m. From here one has indeed a view over the Austnesfjord, but its coastline is sparsely populated, and the heavy lightning visible in the image cannot stem from Laupstad or any other site in the fjord.

Also, it cannot be a view over Svolvær city, its coast line is uneven, not L-shaped as in the image. The most spectacular peak in the Svolvær area is the Svolværgeita https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svolv%C3%A6rgeita (”Svolvær goat”, the two peaks resembling a goat’s horns), but it has the wrong shape, and seen from here the water in the fjord should be to the left.

As Ann I cannot identify any constellations in the stars (?) shown in the image.

According to the caption we are dealing with ”a composite from three separate exposures”. I would take this to mean, that three images of the same scene were taken with different exposure times or filters and then being combined. But perhaps it is a composite of a spectacular peak, a view from high up over some city and an aurora image?

So these questions remain:

• Where is the peak located?
• Which city is visible below?
• In which direction are we looking?
• Are the stars real?

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Re: APOD: In Green Company: Aurora over Norway (2023 Jan 22)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun Jan 22, 2023 12:38 pm

Holger Nielsen wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 12:27 pm When this image was posted on APOD several years ago, I had the same problems with it as Ann.

An earlier post http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?t=41170 suggests that the peak is ”Pilan” looking over Laupstad in the Austnesfjord. According to https://mapcarta.com/N6391608680 Pilan’s position is 69° 22′ 12″ N and 14° 40′ 43″. Google Earth shows that this is a relatively flat peak at an altitude of 700 m. From here one has indeed a view over the Austnesfjord, but its coastline is sparsely populated, and the heavy lightning visible in the image cannot stem from Laupstad or any other site in the fjord.

Also, it cannot be a view over Svolvær city, its coast line is uneven, not L-shaped as in the image. The most spectacular peak in the Svolvær area is the Svolværgeita https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svolv%C3%A6rgeita (”Svolvær goat”, the two peaks resembling a goat’s horns), but it has the wrong shape, and seen from here the water in the fjord should be to the left.

As Ann I cannot identify any constellations in the stars (?) shown in the image.

According to the caption we are dealing with ”a composite from three separate exposures”. I would take this to mean, that three images of the same scene were taken with different exposure times or filters and then being combined. But perhaps it is a composite of a spectacular peak, a view from high up over some city and an aurora image?

So these questions remain:

• Where is the peak located?
• Which city is visible below?
• In which direction are we looking?
• Are the stars real?
There are a number of images online of Pilar Peak which look similar to this. Its "peak" is actually a razorback ridge, which makes it easy to get this sort of view if you pick the right angle.
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Re: APOD: In Green Company: Aurora over Norway (2023 Jan 22)

Post by orin stepanek » Sun Jan 22, 2023 4:30 pm

! have a thing about heights; -- So not for me! :ohno:
smiling-cat-for-web-300x250.jpg
Kitty doesn't like heights either! :lol2:
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Re: APOD: In Green Company: Aurora over Norway (2023 Jan 22)

Post by Confused » Sun Jan 22, 2023 6:03 pm

Ann wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 6:18 am1: How the heck did that man manage to climb to the top of that crazy summit?? :shock:
I was wondering too. I was going to say we do not know what the peak looks like on the other side. For example, the Matterhorn is more accessible from a direction not visible in most images of it. Then I noticed some disturbances in the snow on the Left side of the peak in this image.

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Re: APOD: In Green Company: Aurora over Norway (2023 Jan 22)

Post by johnnydeep » Sun Jan 22, 2023 8:17 pm

Holger Nielsen wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 12:27 pm When this image was posted on APOD several years ago, I had the same problems with it as Ann.

An earlier post http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?t=41170 suggests that the peak is ”Pilan” looking over Laupstad in the Austnesfjord. According to https://mapcarta.com/N6391608680 Pilan’s position is 69° 22′ 12″ N and 14° 40′ 43″. Google Earth shows that this is a relatively flat peak at an altitude of 700 m. From here one has indeed a view over the Austnesfjord, but its coastline is sparsely populated, and the heavy lightning visible in the image cannot stem from Laupstad or any other site in the fjord.

Also, it cannot be a view over Svolvær city, its coast line is uneven, not L-shaped as in the image. The most spectacular peak in the Svolvær area is the Svolværgeita https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svolv%C3%A6rgeita (”Svolvær goat”, the two peaks resembling a goat’s horns), but it has the wrong shape, and seen from here the water in the fjord should be to the left.

As Ann I cannot identify any constellations in the stars (?) shown in the image.

According to the caption we are dealing with ”a composite from three separate exposures”. I would take this to mean, that three images of the same scene were taken with different exposure times or filters and then being combined. But perhaps it is a composite of a spectacular peak, a view from high up over some city and an aurora image?

So these questions remain:

• Where is the peak located?
• Which city is visible below?
• In which direction are we looking?
• Are the stars real?
Maybe this will help to get your bearings - Pilan Peak is to the left and up from where the map is centered:

https://www.norgeskart.no/#!/?zoom=12&l ... nesfjorden

pilan peak norway topographic map low qual.jpg
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Last edited by johnnydeep on Sun Jan 22, 2023 8:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: APOD: In Green Company: Aurora over Norway (2023 Jan 22)

Post by Guest » Sun Jan 22, 2023 8:30 pm

So the APoD caption says "close to the town of Svolvaer" but the town in the photograph is actually Laupstad, ~20 km. to the NE of Svolvaer. Now it makes sense.

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Re: APOD: In Green Company: Aurora over Norway (2023 Jan 22)

Post by MarkBour » Sun Jan 22, 2023 11:23 pm

Holger Nielsen wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 12:27 pm When this image was posted on APOD several years ago, I had the same problems with it as Ann.

An earlier post http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?t=41170 suggests that the peak is ”Pilan” looking over Laupstad in the Austnesfjord. According to https://mapcarta.com/N6391608680 Pilan’s position is 69° 22' 12? N and 14° 40' 43?. Google Earth shows that this is a relatively flat peak at an altitude of 700 m. From here one has indeed a view over the Austnesfjord, but its coastline is sparsely populated, and the heavy lightning visible in the image cannot stem from Laupstad or any other site in the fjord.

Also, it cannot be a view over Svolvær city, its coast line is uneven, not L-shaped as in the image. The most spectacular peak in the Svolvær area is the Svolværgeita https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svolv%C3%A6rgeita (”Svolvær goat”, the two peaks resembling a goat’s horns), but it has the wrong shape, and seen from here the water in the fjord should be to the left.

As Ann I cannot identify any constellations in the stars (?) shown in the image.

According to the caption we are dealing with ”a composite from three separate exposures”. I would take this to mean, that three images of the same scene were taken with different exposure times or filters and then being combined. But perhaps it is a composite of a spectacular peak, a view from high up over some city and an aurora image?

So these questions remain:

• Where is the peak located?
• Which city is visible below?
• In which direction are we looking?
• Are the stars real?
Ah, this provocative image is an APOD favorite; it seems to appear like a 3-year periodic comet, and never fails to elicit reactions!

By the way, 2 points in response to comments above.
  • In the discussion of this post back in 2017, alter-ego was able to identify the constellation of Lyra and surrounding stars, and also Vega, but found it difficult to identify much of anything else, which seems to indicate that the star positions in the sky suffered quite a bit in the compositing or possible distortions that were done to create it.
  • Laupstad Auroroa Andreas Norrland Flickr 02-2017.jpg
    Although the coastline is not L-shaped, as one can see in johnnydeep's map just above, the roads along the coast form an L-shape. Even the small patch of lights between the road (E10) and the coast match well to his map image. I would say that most of the lights in the APOD are streetlights and perhaps headlights of cars.

    Here's an image I grabbed from flickr of Laupstad in the evening:
    (Laupstad Auroroa Andreas Norrland Flickr 02-2017)

    Of course viewed from a quite different direction in this image.
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Re: APOD: In Green Company: Aurora over Norway (2023 Jan 22)

Post by Rinellie » Mon Jan 23, 2023 12:18 am

This is the location of the mountain on Google maps, rotated so you get the same direction of the fjord and Svolvær in the distance.

* https://www.google.com/maps/place/Pilan ... 14.6637688

and Google's 360° streetview winter and summer, respectively

* https://www.google.com/maps/place/Pilan ... 14.6637688
* https://www.google.com/maps/place/Pilan ... 14.6637688

If you take a look at those you can see that in real life the mountain peak is not even remotely close to being as steep as on the photoshopped picture. Yes, you do have to be careful not to trip or slip if you're walking up there during the winter, but it's not impossible.

Also, the sky on picture is a composite of three auroras. The photographer writes so himself on the Flickr page. But he fails to mention all the other photoshopping done on the picture. :roll:

* https://www.flickr.com/photos/apojapo/1 ... otostream/

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Re: APOD: In Green Company: Aurora over Norway (2023 Jan 22)

Post by ErasmusRoterodamus » Mon Jan 23, 2023 1:41 am

Composite says it all.

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Re: APOD: In Green Company: Aurora over Norway (2023 Jan 22)

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon Jan 23, 2023 1:42 am

Confused wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 6:03 pm
Ann wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 6:18 am1: How the heck did that man manage to climb to the top of that crazy summit?? :shock:
I was wondering too. I was going to say we do not know what the peak looks like on the other side. For example, the Matterhorn is more accessible from a direction not visible in most images of it. Then I noticed some disturbances in the snow on the Left side of the peak in this image.
Note the topo I posted above. No problem seeing how the peak looks like this from the right angle, and why it's not that hard to access. Lots of other pictures on the Internet of this peak that look similar.
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Re: APOD: In Green Company: Aurora over Norway (2023 Jan 22)

Post by johnnydeep » Mon Jan 23, 2023 3:55 pm

Rinellie wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 12:18 am This is the location of the mountain on Google maps, rotated so you get the same direction of the fjord and Svolvær in the distance.

* https://www.google.com/maps/place/Pilan ... 14.6637688

and Google's 360° streetview winter and summer, respectively

* https://www.google.com/maps/place/Pilan ... 14.6637688
* https://www.google.com/maps/place/Pilan ... 14.6637688

If you take a look at those you can see that in real life the mountain peak is not even remotely close to being as steep as on the photoshopped picture. Yes, you do have to be careful not to trip or slip if you're walking up there during the winter, but it's not impossible.

Also, the sky on picture is a composite of three auroras. The photographer writes so himself on the Flickr page. But he fails to mention all the other photoshopping done on the picture. :roll:

* https://www.flickr.com/photos/apojapo/1 ... otostream/
Nice! I'm amazed that google even has a "streetview" available for this! A view from the road below (E10) I can understand, but from a location on the mountain itself - wow!
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