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Photographer captures eerie image of a dog in an aurora

Photo: John Chumack/www.galacticimages.com

Photo: John Chumack/www.galacticimages.com

Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 8:56 AM - Never mind seeing shapes in clouds. Here's one photographer that spotted a dog in an aurora, and he barely had to squint.

John Chumack snagged this convincingly canine shot, complete with a curly tail, on the night of March 21, from Alaska's Mount Cleary, near the city of Fairbanks.

Aside from its unique shape, it was also dancing in a sky filled with familiar and recognizable stellar landmarks.

"The Aurora was stretching across the sky and was amazing to watch as it changed shapes," Chumack wrote on his blog. "Mars was just clearing the trees in the east, but Spica was still below the treeline."

Also visible are Jupiter, the Big Dipper, the Gemini twins, the constellation Leo and major stars such as Procyon and Betelgeuse. 

Chumack took the shot with a fish-eye lense, at a 15-second exposure. That glow on the horizon is light pollution from Fairbanks, 65 km away.

This "aurora" dog was recently selected as NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day last week. As for Chumack, he's an experienced astrophotographer, and you should wander over to his website and check out his work.

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