By Tim Binnall
A Russian photographer looking to snap some shots of an aurora that had appeared over his community managed to capture images of a rare form of the phenomenon in which it appears vertical. Valentin Zhiganov reportedly documented the remarkable sight during a particularly frigid evening that saw temperatures drop to a bone-rattling -22 degrees Fahrenheit in the city of Apatity.
According to Zhiganov, he'd initially planned to photograph some of his friends lounging in a hot tub with the aurora overhead, but his concept quickly changed when he noticed that the natural light show had a rather unique appearance. Rather than resembling swirling clouds of colorful illumination, he marveled, the aurora actually looked more like a series of light pillars.
"It was the first time I ever saw this type of aurora," he said, expressing gratitude for being able to witness the phenomenon in such a rarified form. The sight was apparently so amazing to Zhiganov and his friends that they were able to withstand the painfully cold temperatures long enough for him to take several photographs as well as some video of the breathtaking scene before the group hopped into the hot tub to try and warm up.