magic at night

We are currently in Tromsø, Norway, for the turn of the calendar year. The sun does not rise but at night one can see a special light show: Northern Lights.

This image was taken with 15sec exposure (no post-processing); but it looks different from what the human eye sees - a fainter picture but with more structure which actually moves and changes.
In order to see it we had to drive away from city lights and in order to get to clear enough sky we actually had to drive to Finland, which took about 2 1/2 hours. The temperature dropped from -2C in Tromsø to about -26C inland and I find this steep decline quite amazing.

added later: I wish everybody a Happy New Year and good luck in 2015 - we may need it.


Next year will be interesting for several reasons:

The LHC will start up again at higher energies and perhaps show us some physics beyond the standard model.

Advanced LIGO should perform the first observing run and this time chances are good that it will actually detect gravitational waves.

We should see Pluto and Charon at close distance for the first time ever.

The FOMC will probably decide to raise interest rates.

The long awaited tv series Better Call Saul will start with its premier episode in February.
I admit that the latter was actually the reason for writing this blog post ...