Awe-Inspiring Aurora Dances Over Crater Lake (Photo)
Brad Goldpaint took this image of the aurora borealis over Crater Lake National Park, Oregon on June 1, 2013.
Credit: Brad Goldpaint | Goldpaint Photography

The purple glow of the aurora borealis dances over Crater Lake in this beautiful night sky photo.

Hoping for a long-awaited peaceful night in Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, avid astrophotographer Brad Goldpaint was pleasantly surprised to witness this jaw-dropping spectacle on June 1, 2013.

"Near 11 p.m., I was staring upward towards a clear night sky when suddenly, without much warning, an unmistakable faint glow of the aurora borealis began erupting in front of me. I quickly packed up my gear, hiked down to my truck, and sped to a north facing location," Goldpaint told SPACE.com in an email.

Auroras are caused when charged particles from the sun slam into Earth's magnetosphere and interact with particles in our planet's atmosphere. At different altitudes, the solar particles are likely to collide with different types of atoms, producing different colored auroras.

"With adrenaline pumping, I raced to the edge of the caldera, set up a time-lapse sequence, and watched northern lights dance until sunrise," Goldpaint said. "The moon rose around 2 a.m. and blanketed the surrounding landscape with a faint glow, adding depth and texture to the shot."

Editor's note: If you have an amazing night sky 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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