59 Pictures of the Northern Lights and Aurora Australis ...

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.

1. Alaska

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Via The Northern Lights, Alaska - ...

Alaska is one of the first places that comes to mind when thinking of the Northern Lights.

2. Green Waves

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Via Aurora #28

The shapes created by the light depend on the distribution of the charged particles in the atmosphere and wind direction.

3. Iceland

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Via One off the bucket list

Iceland is another of the countries lucky enough to experience the spectacle of the Northern Lights.

4. Finland

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An incredible green sweep over the snowy pine forest.

5. Rainbow of the Night Sky

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The color of the aurora borealis is totally dependent on which mineral particles are in the atmosphere.

6. Shaft

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Via Northern Lights - Aurora Borealis

Much like cloud formations, you can find all sorts of
shapes in the light show.

7. Proof That Thor Exists

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And if you have an active imagination you can see Asgard!

8. Northern Lights

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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

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Via fanpop.com

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

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Via Northern lights Iceland

11. Bø in Vesterålen, Norway

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Via New Aurora Pictures: Solar Storms ...

Just love the acid green.

12. Northern Norway

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It's a magical combination when the sky is clear and you get to see the stars too.

13. Blue on Black

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So gloomy yet so stunningly beautiful

14. Stargazing Heaven

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I could spend hours looking at this.

15. Grotfjord, Tromso, Norway

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Via Pictures of the day: 28 ...

Some people see an eagle, some a Phoenix. Me? I see a Native Indian chief's headdress.

16. Northern Ireland

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Via North Star, Northern lights

Well I never knew that. Northern Lights in Northern Ireland. Wow. So close to home.

17. Alaska

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Via twitter.com

Earth's very own laser light show.

18. Ersfjord, Norway

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Via 7 Simply Amazing Places - ...

One of my favorite pictures of the Northern Lights.

19. Lappish Winter

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Via Northern lights in Lappish winter

A better reason to visit Lapland than Santa Claus.

20. October Aurora

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Via October Aurora

Steve McDougall took this amazing shot of the aurora borealis in Northern Manitoba, Canada.

21. Nature's Kali

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Kali is the word we Brits use for sherbet powder.

22. Rovaniemi, Finland

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Via Winter wonderland

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

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Via fineartamerica.com

I love it when the aurora light is thickest when close to the Earth's surface.

24. Mo I Rana, Nordland County, Norway

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Via Spectacular displays of the northern ...

Mother Nature always did look good in green and red.

25. The Northern Lights

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Via flickr.com

To me, this looks like a curtain falling to cover the mountain tops.

26. Green Bank

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Via Northern Lights

Imagine the view the people who live on the town on the coast had of this.

27. Fire in the Sky

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A surreal combination of sunset and the Northern Lights.

28. Neon Lights

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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

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Via The light and the lighthouse

Can you see it?

30. Wonders of the Norwegian Sky

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Via flickr.com

The wonders of our world! The sky is a wash of red and green yet the snow is glistening gold.

31. Norilsk, Russia

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Via New Aurora Pictures: Solar Storms ...

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

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Via Dverghamrar Aurorae

One of the rare daytime pictures of the Aurora Borealis,

33. Finland

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Via Enter Password

I do love the red auroras.

34. Høgtuva Mountain, Norway

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Via Astronomy Photographer of the Year ...

But I love the green and red ones too.

35. The Aurora Borealis as Seen from the International Space Station

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Via mihai's tumblr • The most ...

O M G - imagine seeing this.

36. Angel of Norway

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Via Utbrudd

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

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Via Aurora borealis and birch trees ...

The birch trees look fabulous with an aurora as their crown.

38. Alaskan Explosion

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Via Aurora Borealis

Do you remember the ink on chromatography paper in science lessons at school?

39. The Milky Way and the Aurora Borealis

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Is it fair that Iceland gets so many incredible views?

40. Kirkjufell, Iceland

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Via Kirkjufell

Kirkjufell means "church mountain" and it is truly blessed.

41. Swedish Lapland

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Via antonyspencer

Amazeballs!

42. Stunning Aurora Borealis Photo

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Via 500px.com

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

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Via Aurora Borealis & Milkyway

I'll know I've lived a life when I see this in person.

44. Yukon, Canada

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It's filling the sky.

45. Lights of Our Universe

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Via twitter.com

Multicolored auroras are so breathtaking.

46. Alaska

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Via 30 Brilliant Aurora Photography For ...

The formation here is almost like geometric planes of light.

47. Aurora Australis, Antarctica

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Via 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

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In my humble opinion, New Zealand is the most incredibly beautiful country on Earth. This underlines it.

49. Southern Lights, Tasmania, Australia

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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

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Via spaceweather.com

A vision in gold, pink and purple.

51. Aurora Australis - South Arm, Tasmania, Australia

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Via spaceweather.com

There's generally a much more golden glow to the Aurora Australis than its northern cousin experiences.

52. Yellowknife, Canada

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Via Great ball of fire! Spectacular ...

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

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Via Australia/New Zealand

The more I see pictures of the Southern lights, the higher seeing it in person creeps up my bucket list.

54. The Southern Lights

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And that's exactly why.

55. Governors Bay, Christchurch, New Zealand

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Incredible - even over one of the country's biggest cities.

56. The Comet in Queenstown on the Night of the Aurora Australis, N.Z

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A long triangle of gorgeousness splits the ceiling of the sky.

57. Tasmania, Australia

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Via 500px.com

The green looks radioactive.

58. Aurora Australis Rocket

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Via physics.usyd.edu.au

Sending rockets laden with scientific instruments helps us
understand more about them.

59. Christchurch, New Zealand

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Via Auroras light up South Island ...

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?

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