Although real flying dragons don’t exist, a huge dragon-shaped aurora developed in the sky over Iceland earlier this month. ‘The aurora was caused by a hole in the Sun’s corona that expelled charged particles into a solar wind that followed a changing interplanetary magnetic field to Earth’s magnetosphere.

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The mysterious dragon aurora snapped in Iceland on February 18. Picture by Jingyi Zhang & Wang Zheng

Nasa has released incredible pictures of an unusual ‘dragon’ aurora roaring silently in the sky over Iceland. The stunning natural wonder was caused by particles emited from the sun which smash into the atmosphere to cause a dramatic light display.

‘As some of those particles then struck Earth’s atmosphere, they excited atoms which subsequently emitted light: aurora.

The dragon aurora is strange because it appeared during a time of low sunspot activity, which means our star is not emitting as many charged particles or ‘solar wind’ as it normally does.

No sunspots have appeared on the Sun so far in February, making the multiple days of picturesque auroral activity this month somewhat surprising,’ Nasa added.

Auroras are generally silent when observed from Earth, although some people have reported hearing popping sounds or white noise when looking at the northern lights.

Scientists have detected ‘clapping’ sounds made by auroras, but these can only be heard about 70 metres from the surface of Earth which means most people will not hear anything whilst witnessing this wonder of nature.

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[Metro]

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