Dazzling 'Moondogs' Shine Over Alaska's Call of the Wild (Photo)
Sebastian Saarloos captured this image of moondogs over the Alaskan wildernesss on Jan. 17, 2013 from Lower Miller Creek, Alaska. He used a 25 second exposure on a Nikon D300s with at Tokina f/4 12-24 mm AT-X Pro wide angle lens.
Credit: Sebastian Saarloos / www.facebook.com/SebastianSaarloos

Harsh, frigid temps didn't stop one night sky photographer from capturing a stunning image of moondogs illuminating the Alaskan wild.

Sebastian Saarloos captured this image on Jan. 17 from Lower Miller Creek, Alaska. He used a 25 -econd exposure on a Nikon D300s with at Tokina f/4 12-24 mm AT-X Pro wide angle lens.

"I was the out trying to capture the aurora, but with lots of clouds and not much aurora activity, I was very happy and thankful that I was able to capture this image," Saarloos told SPACE.com in an email.

"The temps were about minus 10 Fahrenheit with 30 mph winds. The closest town was 50 miles away and this was around 11:30 at night."

In this image, the first quarter moon is flanked on both sides of a halo by "mock moons," also known as paraselenae or "moondogs." The apparitions are formed when moonlight is refracted through thin, plate-shaped ice crystals in cirrus clouds. They are easy to spot at an angle of 22 degrees from the moon when it is low in the sky.

Editor's note: If you have an amazing skywatching photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at spacephotos@space.com.

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