Purpur skies in a white desert

It is Tuesday, 5. January 2016 about 11:40. I am at Spitsbergen Travels tourproduction office in my car and look east in the direction of Adventdalen.

What I saw made my heart jump. Purple clouds in the sky, light from so far, it was unreal. I had heard about this phenomenon but was never lucky enough to experience it myself.


I had only some minutes before I needed to be present for my next job, so I drove just a bit out of town, where there are no streetlights, chucked out the tripod and the camera and took in total only three pictures before I had to leave. But they worked out really well.

The cause of this strange light in the middle of our dark season were most likely so called Polar Stratospheric Clouds in the right spot south of us, reflecting sunlight from even further south up to us.

The pictures are taken at a relatively long exposure time and therefore appear brighter than one would experience the scenery really.

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