A photographer has captured images of a stunning ‘vertical aurora’ phenomenon in the frozen skies over Russia. Valentin Zhiganov, 44, shot the incredible pictures of the rare optical illusion near his home city of Apatity in Murmansk Oblast, Russia in temperatures of minus 30 degree Celsius. His images show the aurora – also known as ‘light pillars’ – mixing with the lights of the city while the local power plant looms in the background. Valentin said: ‘Our plan was to take some shots of the girls in the hot tub with the aurora in the background, but on the way we saw these pillars so we of course pulled over to take some shots.
The dazzling mystery lights appeared when it was minus 30 degree Celsius (Photo: Caters)
The photos were supposed to feature these two ladies, but they were outshone by the auroras (Image: Caters) ‘This optical illusion is known as light pillars, it’s a type of aurora and it’s pretty rare – especially with the pillars going so high. ‘It was the first time I ever saw this type of aurora and we all enjoyed the view – despite the low temperatures. ‘I am really glad I was able to take some decent shots of this rare optical illusion.’ Last month, Nasa released incredible pictures of an unusual ‘dragon’ aurora roaring silently in the sky over Iceland.