Phoenix rises! Stunning images capture Northern light spectacle in shape of mythical bird

Stunning photographs of the northern lights appear to capture the moment a phoenix rises from the ashes.

The beautiful images captured the sky lit up with green, yellow and blue during a geomagnetic storm last Thursday (January 31).

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Taken by photographer and tour guide Oliver Wright in Abisko, Sweden, the striking aurora borealis appears to form the shape of the fire-eating mythical bird.

Oliver, 46, from Leeds, said he was finishing a four day tour with a group of 10 when he captured the unusual display.

Oliver said: “It’s like the entire sky is getting ripped apart by green light. It’s phenomenal.

“You can see it change colour in front of your eyes. It’s unusual for it to be that bright.

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“It created a shape like a phoenix rising from the ashes. It was really magical.”

Oliver said temperatures had dropped to minus 28 degrees when the auroras started to grow in intensity at about 10.30pm.

The display was the result of a geomagnetic storm – a temporary disturbance of the Earth’s magnetosphere caused by a solar wind shock wave.

Oliver said: “It got brighter and brighter.

“I’ve been tour guiding for about five years and visiting for eight. I’ve seen hundreds of auroras and that was one of the brightest displays I’ve ever seen.

“The geomagnetic storm was photographed from Scotland, Norfolk, from all over and this is what it looked like when you’re right under it.

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“The group I was with were screaming because it was amazing. You could see it moving.

“To take the pictures I used a tripod, long exposure and a quarter of a second shutter speed which allowed me to capture the movement.

“We had about an hour of intense aurora. Usually you have a really intense bit and then it will disappear but this kept coming back and getting brighter. It just kept coming in giant waves.”