The Sky Is on Fire! Your Complete Visual Guide to the Northern Lights


Over the past week, Norway has been witness to some jaw-dropping light shows, the result of an M8.7 class flare and a coronal mass ejection in a direction pointed toward Earth. Many Norwegians shared their photos of the northern lights -- or "nordlys" in Norwegian -- on Flickr, where we reached out to them for permission to republish them here, in the gallery above. Through Flickr, we can see halfway across the world, to the skies above Trondheim and across Norway.

One of the photographers, Bjørnar Eilertsen, also compiled his pictures into this beautiful timelapse video:

Here's a video by Norwegian multimedia journalist Per Byhring explaining how solar weather creates the light displays we see here on Earth.

And finally, in the video below, The Atlantic's video editor, Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg, has compiled NASA footage of the solar storms responsible for all the beauty.



Update January 27, 11:16 AM: One of the photographers featured above has shared with us a fascinating description of how "aurora hunters" capture these images. Check it out here.

Presented by

Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

The 86-Year-Old Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile his neighbor, the patriarch of a 70-acre family farm

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The 86-Year-Old Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile the patriarch of a family farm

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

An Ingenious 360-Degree Time-Lapse

Watch the world become a cartoonishly small playground

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

More in Technology

Just In