Natural Lighting Phenomenons

Road to Heaven_Ireland

This picture is commonly associated with being part of the Heavens Trail in Ireland, a place where every 2 years the stars line up with a trail. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, photographer Thomas Zimmer spent 4 hours waiting to take the perfect shot of the Milky Way in Sylt, North Sea, located in Germany near Denmark. In an attempt to add visual interest he decided to add a person to the shot. As he ran into the scene with his camera preset on a self timer, his camera took the shot as he situated himself within the frame unbeknownst to him. As the timer went off before he was prepared the camera took the shot with his flashlight still on which illuminates the pathway. While it was originally a mistake, the light adds an air of mystery to the image and brings your eye to the gorgeous display of the Milky Way.


Solar particles that are blown into Earth’s magnetic field create the phenomenon known as the Northern lights. These natural lighting effects can be seen most clearly from September till mid April in Fairbanks, Alaska. While there is no way to predict exactly when Aurora Borealis will appear, the peak time is between 11:30 pm and 3:30 am when there are clear dark skies.

Aurora Borealis begins as a static light located in the northern part of the sky. As the intensity of the lights increases they “resemble curtains hung vertically in the sky that are rippling in a light wind”. The lights meet maximum intensity when they begin to arc and spiral across the sky. These impressive displays of greenish-yellow, blue and red light can last for 20 – 30 minutes.


Horsetail Falls also known as “firefall” is a waterfall that flows in the winter and early spring in Yosemite National Park in California. In mid to late February, as the sun sets on a clear night, the water fall appears to glow orange from the sunset. The most popular place to see this phenomenon is at the El Capitan Picnic Area.