50 Exceptionally Beautiful Auroras [PICS]

January 22nd, 2015 Permalink

Since we last covered Amazing Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis in 2011, many photographers have braved extremely cold temperatures to capture swirling Northern Lights dancing across the heavens. Here are some of those exceptionally beautiful auroras that you can enjoy from the warmth of your chair instead of the snowy wilds. [50 Photos, 3 Videos]

Standing at the Edge of the Universe

Standing at the edge of the universe as auroras dance across the sky. Photo #1 by David Taylor

Fjord Lights in Northern Norway

Fjord lights at Alsvåg, Vesterålen in northern Norway. Peak times to see aurora borealis are between 11pm and 2am, but that’s not to say those are the only hours to behold auroras. NOAA provides a 30-minute aurora forecast. Photo #2 by Stian Klo

Aurora Borealis over tepee in Sweden

Aurora Borealis over tepee in Sweden. According to Aurora Hunter, “Aurora Borealis season in northern polar latitudes (Alaska, northern Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Siberia) runs from August-thru-April.” Photo #3 by imagea.org

Aurora Plane

According to the photographer, “A US Navy DC-3 made a safe crash landing on a volcanic beach near Vik Iceland in 1973 and it’s been there ever since. The aurora came out brilliantly last night and we were lucky enough to capture it.” Photo #4 by Jason Hullinger

Iceland, aurora borealis over Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon

Northern lights and striped icebergs at Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. In the Telegraph article The Northern Lights: Trip of a Lifetime, Nigel Tisdall wrote, “The Northern Lights are one of nature’s great displays: a mysterious, multicoloured show in which the night sky is suddenly lit up with a wondrous glow that twists and swirls like a heavenly lava lamp. Elusive and ethereal, it is one of the great, timeless thrills of travel, a beautiful, shifting dance of nocturnal rainbows that many viewers find a humbling and spiritually uplifting experience.” Photo #5 by Moyan Brenn

glorious Aurora Borealis and moonlight over Godfjorden

The photographer wrote, “Location is Kveøya in Northern Norway, view over to the Godfjorden mountains bathing in glorious Aurora Borealis and moonlight over Godfjorden.” Photo #6 by Stian Klo

Fire in the Sky

“Fire in the Sky” is what the photographer called this capture before adding, “The Northern Lights got so intense it looked like flames dancing across the sky.” Wikipedia tells us that “oxygen emissions are green or orange-red, depending on the amount of energy absorbed. Nitrogen emissions are blue or red; blue if the atom regains an electron after it has been ionized, red if returning to ground state from an excited state.” Photo #7 by Ronel Reyes

Northern Lights in the Valley

Northern lights in the valley. The photographer noted, “A steady green light near the horizon was topped with pink and magenta light beams actively moving along at the Parc de la Jacques-Cartier.” Photo #8 by Frédérick Beaupré


Iceland. Author Jonathan Swift once said ~ “Then, rising with Aurora’s light, The Muse invoked, sit down to write; Blot out, correct, insert, refine, Enlarge, diminish, interline.” Photo #9 by Moyan Brenn

In Search of Northern Lights

In Search of northern lights on the frozen lake Kattfjordvannet. Photo #10 by El Coleccionista de Instantes (The Collector of Moments)

Northern Lights in Tromso Norway

Northern Lights in Tromso Norway. Photo #11 by Nêssa Florêncio

Northern lights over Iceland's red-roofed cabins

Northern lights over Iceland’s red-roofed cabins. Photo #12 by Preserved Light Photography

Milky Way, aurora and volcano glow

It’s an “Iceland fairy tale” featuring the “Milky Way, aurora and volcano glow from the Holuhraun eruption.” Photo #13 by Adam Rifkin

Northern Lights shaped like Space Portal

“This was amazing when the Northern Lights began to form a flame coming out from behind the mountains,” said the photographer. “The way it’s interacting with the clouds, I think it looks like it’s opening a portal to outer space.” Photo #14 by Ronel Reyes

Baldur's Temper Northern Norway

“Baldur’s Temper” in northern Norway. Aurora Hunter wrote, “Statistically, the equinox months of September and March are best for aurora activity. The winter months of October-thru-February are also good (there is definitely no shortage of darkness!).” Photo #16 by Stian Klo

Spiraling Aurora Borealis

Spiraling Aurora Borealis. Photo #17 by Adam Rifkin

Fjord Lights

Fjord lights, a “wonderful display of Aurora Borealis over the Aurlandsfjord” in Norway. Photo #18 by Eef De Boeck

Aurora reflections over Norway

Aurora reflections over Norway. Photo #19 by ArcticShooter

4am, -20C

Beautiful aurora display captured by a brave photographer at 4 a.m. during -20C (-4F) temperatures. Photo #20 by Chris Ratzlaff

Aurora Borealis in Finnish Lapland

Aurora Borealis in Finnish Lapland. Photo #21 by Jorma Luhta via Visit Finland

Coastal Aurora

Coastal Aurora. Not the Northern Lights but the Southern Lights or Aurora Australis. Did you know cold is not required for auroras? Aurora Hunter said, “Mythbuster: Contrary to popular belief, it does not have to be cold to see the aurora, just dark and clear….and clear skies usually mean it’s cold, hence the association between auroras and chilly nights.” Photo #22 by Matt Green

Northern Lights in the Yellowknife area

Northern Lights in the Yellowknife area. Photo #23 by Martin Male

Sol's Tempest, Northern Lights in Norway

Sol’s Tempest, Northern Lights in Norway. Photo #24 by Dave Morrow

Northern lights in northern Norway

The photographer called this shot, “Arctic Quiescence.” Photo #25 by Stian Klo

northern lights in Lapland

Northern lights in Lapland (northern Scandinavia). Photo #26 by Rene Jakobson

Aurora over Alesund, Norway

Aurora over Alesund, Norway. Photo #27 by Stian Rekdal

Christmas aurora

Christmas aurora borealis. Auroras have long served as inspiration. James Thomson wrote in Castle of Indolence (1748) ~ “You cannot rob me of free nature’s grace, You cannot shut the windows of the sky, Through which Aurora shows her brightening face.” Photo #28 by Viktor Sjögren

Aurora dancing in the night sky

Aurora dancing in the night sky. Photo #29 by emyrum

Hoodoos and aurora in Drumheller, Alberta

Hoodoos and aurora in Drumheller, Alberta. Photo #30 by Keith E. Doucet

Frozen car and aurora

Think it’s cold? Check out that frozen and mostly buried car. Photo #31 by Robert Alexandersen

Aurora borealis seen from Jokulsarlon lake in Iceland

Aurora borealis seen from Jokulsarlon lake in Iceland. Photo #35 by Moyan Brenn

Colorful northern lights

Awe-inspiring beauty of nature. Photo #36 by greenzowie

Aurora Reflections

Aurora Reflections. The Smithsonian Magazine said“There’s never been a better time to set out to view the spectacle. Not only are we in the midst of a solar maximum (when aurora activity is at its peak), but the United Nations also named 2015 the International Year of Light, making dark sky preservation and global awareness of light pollution priorities.” Photo #37 by Henry Lee

The photo above was taken from the video Eye of the Storm 4K Ultra HD. 4K Video #1 by evosiastudios

Fox watches the Aurora Borealis

When the photographer went outside in 14 below temperature at 11 PM in search of the Aurora Borealis, she saw a fox. She wrote, “Foxy was busy running around, looking for rodents but she paused for a while and just sat and watched the light show.” Photo #38 by Wendy Johnson

Together, Under Magic in Snaefellsnes, Iceland

Together, Under Magic in Snaefellsnes, Iceland. Photo #39 by Kris Williams

Northern Lights over Lofoten Islands Norway

Northern Lights over Lofoten Islands Norway. Photo #40 by Tatra Photography

Amazing auroras in magical Iceland

Amazing auroras in magical Iceland. Photo #43 by Shutter Runner

Solitude and aurora over Norway

Solitude and aurora over Norway. Photo #44 by Trond Kristiansen

Aurora's cave

Aurora’s cave. Photo #45 by Stian Klo

Aurora smoking from moon

“Aurora at Prelude Lake, NWT.” The photographer added, “Love how it looks like the lights are streaming out of the moon.” Photo #46 by Krahsman

Northern lights over Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon in Iceland

The photographer noted, “Iceland, Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon during a night with northern lights seen from east beach…The green color is the oxygen, while the purple one is nitrogen…in case you see red color, that is still the oxygen.” Photo #47 by Moyan Brenn

Aurora over Mjelle, Nordland, Norway

Aurora over Mjelle, Nordland, Norway. Photo #48 by Trond Kristiansen

looking straight up at Aurora Burst in Alberta Canada

Looking straight up at Aurora Burst in Alberta Canada. Photo #49 by Jeff Wallace

Nightlife show by nature in Iceland

Night show by nature in Iceland. Photo #50 by greenzowie

Night of the Northern Lights. Video #2 by Maciej Winiarczyk

Wowza! Ole Salomonsen’s third short film about the Northern Lights. Video #3 by Ole Salomonsen

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