Imaggeo on Mondays: The Tempest

Imaggeo on Mondays: The Tempest

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 degrees Centigrade), the sky was clear but there was a lot of wind (around 15 metres per second). 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 metre dish of the European Incoherent Scatter Svalbard Radar facility (EISCAT ESR).


Description by Cyril Simon Wedlund, as it first appeared on


Imaggeo is the EGU’s online open access geosciences image repository. All geoscientists (and others) can submit their photographs and videos to this repository and, since it is open access, these images can be used for free by scientists for their presentations or publications, by educators and the general public, and some images can even be used freely for commercial purposes. Photographers also retain full rights of use, as Imaggeo images are licensed and distributed by the EGU under a Creative Commons licence. Submit your photos at

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Hazel Gibson is Head of Communications at the European Geosciences Union. She is responsible for the management of the Union's social media presence and the EGU blogs, where she writes regularly for the EGU's official blog, GeoLog. She has a PhD in Geoscience Communication and Cognition from the University of Plymouth in the UK. Hazel tweets @iamhazelgibson.

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