A Light in the Darkness - Mark Iandolo

The Aurora Borealis shoots out from behind Vestrahorn during twilight, electrifying this Icelandic scene.

“The bedrock nature of space and time are science’s great ‘open frontiers.’ These are parts of the intellectual map where we’re still groping for the truth – where, in the fashion of ancient cartographers, we must still inscribe ‘here be dragons.’” – Martin Rees

One fascinating result of space and science is the Aurora Borealis, a phenomenon created by the collision between particles in the Earth’s magnetosphere and solar winds shot straight from the sun.

The first time I ever saw auroras was at Vestrahorn, a mountain whose elongated, jagged peaks make it look like the spine of a sleeping dragon.

They came at twilight. At first, they glowed ever so faintly. Because I had never seen them before, I wondered with a sigh, “Is that it?” But then, not a minute later, they shot out from behind Vestrahorn with the fury of dragon’s breath, with the all-consuming incandescence of the wildfire from Game of Thrones.

In that moment, the dragon of Vestrahorn became the light in the darkness – bridging the earth and the cosmos and illuminating the map to the great frontier.

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