The northern lights dance in a breathtaking display in these stunning images from an aurora video recently sent to Space.com.
Night sky photographer Chad Blakley captured these intense auroras grooving over several Swedish Lapland locations, including a small hotel high in the Swedish mountains, on Feb. 21. The result: a spectacular video of Sweden's northern lights display.
"This display was one of the best of the year and we are hopeful that the final four weeks of the season will continue to impress," Blakley wrote Space.com in an email. "The show started as soon as the sun went down and continued well into the night — long after my cameras had frozen and all of my batteries had died." [See more amazing aurora by Blakley and other stargazers]
Vivid auroras like those seen in Blakley's images are caused by charged particles from the sun (the solar wind) that interact with the Earth's upper atmosphere (at altitudes above 50 miles, or 80 km), causing a glow.
The particles are drawn to Earth's polar regions by the planet's magnetic field. The auroras over the North Pole are known as the aurora borealis, or northern lights. The lights over the South Pole are known as the aurora australis, or southern lights. When the aurora is most active, it creates a spectacular display of bright colors called the aurora corona.
"Before we know it, the midnight sun will return and we will have to patiently wait for the auroras to return later this autumn," Blakley said.
To see more amazing night sky photos submitted by Space.com readers, visit our astrophotography archive.
Editor's note: If you have an amazing night sky photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at firstname.lastname@example.org.