These magical pictures captured the moment that the clouds parted to reveal a swirling aurora light above an Icelandic mountain that was featured in Game of Thrones.
The ethereal green light display appeared over Kirkjufell – also known as “The Witch’s Mountain” – which rises from the sea in the isolated west of the Nordic nation.
The glow, which is caused by solar particles reacting with Earth’s magnetic field, can be seen spiraling out from the crooked summit at 463 meters (1,519 feet).
Located on the Snæfellsnes peninsula, the dramatic peak appeared in seasons six and seven of the popular HBO fantasy show.
Photographer Craig McDearmid caught the incredible spectacle on an “aurora hunting” trip in January, which was almost ruined by stormy weather.
“We hadn’t really had that much luck. We drove from one side of the island to the other,” said McDearmid. “We traveled about 500 miles the day before, just trying to get a gap in the clouds.”
On the last day of the trip, McDearmid went north to Kirkjufell, hoping for a last chance to catch a glimpse of the northern lights.
“Unbelievably, the clouds started to clear as soon as the sun went down,” said the 49-year-old photographer. “You could see the aurora and it just got stronger and stronger.
“It just came off at that time, at that magical moment and we happened to be there to get it.”
McDearmid, who is from Hamsterley Colliery, England, used his tripod to take a five-second exposure as the lights appeared to hover over the giant rock – and the results are breathtaking.
“I’ve never seen that swirling formation before. I’ve never seen anything like that happen,” said McDearmid. “You just get swept up into this magical world. It’s fairly euphoric to witness. It’s just awe-inspiring when it moves across the sky.”
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