As seen on the National Geographic News colorful lights of Aurora Borealis appears over a Sami village in Lapland, northern Sweden. There is a deep connection between people of the far north and these majestic dancing lights. Sami people in Lapland (northern Norway, Sweden, Finland some areas of Russia) traditionally believed that the northern lights were the energies of the souls of the departed. Eskimos in some areas described aurora as the dancing spirits. Some Indians in the North America described it as a fire in the far north, a reminder from the creator of the Earth.

Click on the second photo to see a longer exposure photo of this scene where both stars and aurora trail across the sky. Aurora is produced by the collision of high-energy charged particles, originated from the sun, with atoms and molecules of Earth’s atmosphere (at altitudes above 80 km). The vivid green and purple auroral colors are caused by high atmospheric oxygen and hydrogen reacting to a burst of incoming electrons. See this view in timelapse video.



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