One of the most common items on countless bucket lists is the Northern Lights. These explosions of color in the sky are limited to certain areas of the world in both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere (where they are naturally called the Southern Lights) and occur when highly charged electrons from solar winds interact with elements in the atmosphere. They create dizzying patterns in rainbows of color and the name Northern Lights seems so insignificant for the beautiful wonder they are.
Alaska is one of the first places that comes to mind when thinking of the Northern Lights.
2. Green Waves
Via Aurora #28
The shapes created by the light depend on the distribution of the charged particles in the atmosphere and wind direction.
Iceland is another of the countries lucky enough to experience the spectacle of the Northern Lights.
5. Rainbow of the Night Sky
The color of the aurora borealis is totally dependent on which mineral particles are in the atmosphere.
Much like cloud formations, you can find all sorts of
shapes in the light show.
7. Proof That Thor Exists
And if you have an active imagination you can see Asgard!
8. Northern Lights
Via From moon 2 moon
When you look at the tiny dots that are the town, you can understand the scale of the spread of the lights.
9. Minot, North Dakota
The caption that came with this photo claims that North Dakota is the only US state other than Alaska that experiences the Northern Lights. I wonder if that's true.
10. The Land of Fire and Ice
11. Bø in Vesterålen, Norway
Just love the acid green.
12. Northern Norway
It's a magical combination when the sky is clear and you get to see the stars too.
13. Blue on Black
So gloomy yet so stunningly beautiful
14. Stargazing Heaven
I could spend hours looking at this.
15. Grotfjord, Tromso, Norway
Some people see an eagle, some a Phoenix. Me? I see a Native Indian chief's headdress.
16. Northern Ireland
Well I never knew that. Northern Lights in Northern Ireland. Wow. So close to home.
Earth's very own laser light show.
18. Ersfjord, Norway
One of my favorite pictures of the Northern Lights.
19. Lappish Winter
A better reason to visit Lapland than Santa Claus.
20. October Aurora
Via October Aurora
Steve McDougall took this amazing shot of the aurora borealis in Northern Manitoba, Canada.
21. Nature's Kali
Kali is the word we Brits use for sherbet powder.
22. Rovaniemi, Finland
Skies are incredible when there is no light pollution to spoil it. Even the palest aurora shows up beautifully.
23. Portage Lake & Chugach Mountains, Alaska
I love it when the aurora light is thickest when close to the Earth's surface.
24. Mo I Rana, Nordland County, Norway
Mother Nature always did look good in green and red.
25. The Northern Lights
To me, this looks like a curtain falling to cover the mountain tops.
26. Green Bank
Via Northern Lights
Imagine the view the people who live on the town on the coast had of this.
27. Fire in the Sky
Via Fotos Bellas
A surreal combination of sunset and the Northern Lights.
28. Neon Lights
I truly hope that depth of color is real but after seeing many thousands of pictures of the Northern Lights I doubt it. It might be photo shopped but still it's stunning.
29. The Hand of God
Can you see it?
30. Wonders of the Norwegian Sky
The wonders of our world! The sky is a wash of red and green yet the snow is glistening gold.
31. Norilsk, Russia
I just love to find pictures in the aurora. I can see Queen Victoria. She's bending slightly forward and she's wearing that lace head covering so prevalent in many of her pictures. Can you see the same?
32. Dverghamrar, Iceland
One of the rare daytime pictures of the Aurora Borealis,
Via Enter Password
I do love the red auroras.
34. Høgtuva Mountain, Norway
But I love the green and red ones too.
35. The Aurora Borealis as Seen from the International Space Station
O M G - imagine seeing this.
36. Angel of Norway
Sorry, I'm off on my travels into guess the shape of the aurora again. I'm seeing an angel, side on.
37. Fairbanks, Alaska
The birch trees look fabulous with an aurora as their crown.
38. Alaskan Explosion
Via Aurora Borealis
Do you remember the ink on chromatography paper in science lessons at school?
39. The Milky Way and the Aurora Borealis
Is it fair that Iceland gets so many incredible views?
40. Kirkjufell, Iceland
Kirkjufell means "church mountain" and it is truly blessed.
41. Swedish Lapland
42. Stunning Aurora Borealis Photo
Tommy Eliasson has captured a shot where the lower reaches of the aurora look like sun rays.
43. Aurora Borealis and the Milky Way, Iceland
I'll know I've lived a life when I see this in person.
44. Yukon, Canada
It's filling the sky.
45. Lights of Our Universe
Multicolored auroras are so breathtaking.
The formation here is almost like geometric planes of light.
47. Aurora Australis, Antarctica
I really hope that's a falling star in the top right because that would make this picture even more magical.
48. Aurora Australis and the Milky Way over Queenstown, New Zealand
In my humble opinion, New Zealand is the most incredibly beautiful country on Earth. This underlines it.
49. Southern Lights, Tasmania, Australia
Via Aurora Austrlis
What a gloriously solid glow close to the Earth that dissipates as it climbs higher so we can see the majesty of the sky filled with stars.
50. Aurora Australis - Bridies, Dunedin, New Zealand
A vision in gold, pink and purple.
51. Aurora Australis - South Arm, Tasmania, Australia
There's generally a much more golden glow to the Aurora Australis than its northern cousin experiences.
52. Yellowknife, Canada
This is one of the incredible explosions of color that followed the biggest bursts of solar radiation for five years. The solar storm occurred in March 2012.
53. Aurora Australis down under
The more I see pictures of the Southern lights, the higher seeing it in person creeps up my bucket list.
54. The Southern Lights
And that's exactly why.
55. Governors Bay, Christchurch, New Zealand
Incredible - even over one of the country's biggest cities.
56. The Comet in Queenstown on the Night of the Aurora Australis, N.Z
A long triangle of gorgeousness splits the ceiling of the sky.
57. Tasmania, Australia
The green looks radioactive.
58. Aurora Australis Rocket
Sending rockets laden with scientific instruments helps us
understand more about them.
59. Christchurch, New Zealand
Even purple drapes can't hide the stars.
Are you all tuckered out after all those incredible pictures of the Northern and Southern Lights?
Have you seen them in person? Where was it?