Celestial Lights: Spectacular Auroras Move Across the Scandinavian Skies

Nor­we­gian pho­tog­ra­ph­er Ole C. Salomon­sen has cre­at­ed a stun­ning time-lapse film of the auro­ra bore­alis over rugged Nordic land­scapes.

Salomon­sen lives in the city of Trom­sø, 200 miles north of the Arc­tic Cir­cle, where the sun does­n’t rise above the hori­zon between Novem­ber and Jan­u­ary. Trom­sø is con­sid­ered one of the best (inhab­it­ed) places on Earth to see North­ern Lights. This past win­ter the light show was par­tic­u­lar­ly intense, as the sun moved clos­er to the peak (expect­ed in ear­ly 2013) of its 11-year cycle of elec­tro­mag­net­ic activ­i­ty.

The pho­tog­ra­ph­er went to extra­or­di­nary lengths to cap­ture these images, trav­el­ing across north­ern Nor­way, Swe­den and Fin­land over a half-year peri­od begin­ning in Sep­tem­ber and end­ing ear­li­er this month, when the day­light hours grew too long. “I have dri­ven thou­sands of km between loca­tions up here in the arc­tic this sea­son,” Salomon­sen writes on his Vimeo page. “I was run­ning between 2–3 cam­eras like a mad­man.” He esti­mates he shot about 150,000 expo­sures to get the 6,000 or so frames used in the four-and-a-half-minute video above. He writes:

The video is a merge of two parts; the first part con­tains some more wild and aggres­sive auro­ras, as well as a few milky way sequences, hence either auro­ras are mov­ing fast because they are, or they are fast due to motion of the milky way/stars. Still, some of the strait up shots are very close to real-time speed, although auro­ras most­ly are slow­er, she can also be FAST! The sec­ond part has some more slow and majes­tic auro­ras, where I have focused more on com­po­si­tion and fore­ground.

The music is by Nor­we­gian com­pos­er Kai-Anders Ryan. To learn about the tech­ni­cal aspects of Celes­tial Lights, and to see the film Salomon­sen made dur­ing last year’s auro­ra sea­son, vis­it his Vimeo page. And to see his beau­ti­ful still images, vis­it Salomon­sen on Face­book and Flikr.

via Uni­verse Today

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