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Aurora Ablaze

The aurora borealis lights up land and sky in Manitoba, as seen from the ISS. (NASA)

A very active Aurora Borealis was photographed by one of the Expedition 30 crew members aboard the International Space Station flying approximately 240 miles above Manitoba, Canada on Jan. 25, 2012. Lake Winnipeg (lower right center) and the major city Winnipeg (bottom center) are easily recognizable in the nighttime scene.

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Hubble Spots Jupiter’s Spooky Northern Lights

Hubble image of Jupiter's aurora (March 2007)

Acquired in March 2007, this eerie image from Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys’s ultraviolet camera show glowing auroral emissions, always present in Jupiter’s polar regions.

The aurora is hundreds of kilometers wide and about 250 kilometers above the planet. It is caused by electrically charged particles striking atoms in the upper atmosphere from above, the same process involved in Earth’s aurorae (except that Jupiter’s magnetic field is orders of magnitude more powerful than Earth’s!)

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Solar Storm in Progress!

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Yesterday’s solar flare sent out a huge cloud of charged solar particles our way, and this afternoon it impacted our magnetosphere… sparking a brilliant display of aurorae in northern skies such as those above the Aurora Sky Station in Abisko, Sweden.

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Monday Night Lights: October Aurorae Surprise Skywatchers

Aurora over Chesterfield, Michigan on Oct. 24, 2011. © Bob Trembley

Powerful geomagnetic activity created colorful aurorae that delighted skywatchers around the world on the night of Monday, October 24. The photo above was taken by LITD fan Bob Trembley from his location in Chesterfield, Michigan with his Canon EOS Rebel XS.

“I can NOT believe I got these shots!” Bob writes on his Facebook page. “I drove 800 meters from my home, where there were less streetlights. When I started taking shots, there was some green fuzz on the horizon. Then a GIANT red splotch to the east. Then red spikes doming overhead. It was easily one of the best displays I have ever seen, and I was privileged to get these shots.”

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In The Land of the Northern Lights

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After six months and 50,000 still images, photographer and video artist Ole Christian Salomonsen presents us with this masterpiece video of the stunning aurora borealis shimmering in the cold night skies over Tromsø, Norway.

“A goal for me has been to try to preserve the real-time speed of the northern lights, or come as close as possible, and present it way I experienced it, instead of the northern lights just flashing over the sky in the blink of an eye. It may work on other time-lapse videos with skies and sunsets etc, but with the northern lights in focus, it should be presented in its true speed to reflect her beauty, IMO.”

– Ole Christian Salomonsen

The results are, simply put, beautiful. Especially to those of us who have never had the chance to witness the phenomenon of aurorae in person…but I can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t be moved by this wonderful work of art.

The soundtrack was provided by local musical talent Per Wollen. The track “Aurora in the Sky”, released today, can be downloaded from iTunes.

Amazing job on this, Ole! Thanks for sharing with all of us, and thanks for permission to repost it here on LITD. One of the best aurora videos I have seen from The Land of the Northern Lights! (And to think it’s his “first video project”!)

Visit Ole’s in-progress site for more photos and videos, or check out his Flickr photostream.

Video © Ole Christian Salomonsen. All rights reserved. Used with permission. (Music © Per Wollen.)

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