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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