This beautiful example of a crowning aurora was photographed from under the forest canopy from near Talkeetna just after midnight. I was making my way through the dark woods down to a lake when I decided to look up.
A crowning aurora, or corona, is visible when the aurora swings through an observer's magnetic zenith whichis located nearly straight overhead. Looking up at the paralell rays of an aurora gives one the impression that the aurora eminates from this spot. In fact, this is an illusion of perspective similar to looking down a set of railroad tracks. Even though they seem to merge in the distance, they still retian their separation in reality. It is the fact that these rays are very long starting at bout 50 miles high and extending a hundred miles or more into space that creates the perspective.
This image was acquired using a 6x9cm. home-built medium-format camera with a 50mm lens and Kodak E100VS film (and a sore neck).
This image is availible in the following sizes: 5x7, 6x9, 8x12, 11x15. It can also be seen in a three image set here: