Desert Nights, Desert Lights
During the pre-dawn hours of July 27, 2004, the Anza-Borrego Desert of Southern California was illuminated by the most unusual of light—that of the aurora borealis. May be only once or twice a year does the aurora become strong enough to appear over the desert Southwest but, when it does, it can produce a most unearthly scene. On this morning it danced over so wide an area of the northern sky that it required five wide-angle images stitched together to capture it all. The yellowish glow on the lower left is light from desert cities to the north, and the bright “star” on the right is the planet Venus.