This week we take you to Trømso in Norway. In early January, 1,100 miles (1,800 kilometres) north of Oslo, the Spanish aerobatic pilot, Horacio Llorens, experienced a high, in living colour. The synchronized paragliding aerobatics specialist was able to fly with a paramotor under an aurora borealis. A show of rare beauty.
The source of many stories and legends, polar auroras (Aurora Borealis at northern high latitudes, and aurora australis in the south) were perceived in ancient times as snakes or dragons in the sky. Today we know them to be luminous phenomena, which occur at altitudes between 50 to 200 miles (80 and 300 km), caused by precipitating charged particles (in both the solar wind and magnetospheric plasma) entering the upper atmosphere.
Forecasting auroras is a highly inexact science; Horacio Llorens and had to wait several hours in temperatures of -25 °F (-15°C). "She’s shy," confirms the paraglider. "I asked her to dance many times, and she took a while to show up – but when she did, she was a beauty!"
Equipped with a neoprene wetsuit (the flight was over Norway’s icy waters) and battery heated gloves for fine throttle control, Horacio Llorens was finally able to carry out his midnight waltz with the light waves, allowing him to achieve "the most amazing experience" of his life. A living aerial painting enhanced by illumination of the paramotor’s wing.