via Vimeo
June 22, 2015

Filmmaker Henry Jun Wah Lee was at the right place at the right time during a solar maximum over Iceland last March. (A bit of background: a solar maximum is a time in the 11-year solar cycle of the sun where an increase in sun spots and irradiance can be seen from Earth.) Luckily for the rest of us, he shared the rare sights in a short film called "Apotheosis." Lee was also able to witness the nearby Bárðarbunga volcano erupting as the aurora borealis set up a background worthy of a movie scene.

Lee's words on the once-in-a-lifetime happenstance:

The sky was covered with auroras so strong, they were visible at dusk. This continued all night until dawn. In the film you will see rare red, yellow, white, blue and violet purple auroras. I was also fortunate to get shots of aurora borealis lighting up the sky while the Bárðarbunga volcano was erupting. The orange/red glow you will see in the distance is from the hot lava spewing from the volcano.

Check out his finished video:

Apotheosis from Henry Jun Wah Lee / Evosia on Vimeo.

Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.

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