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The Kid Should See This

The northern lights delight onlookers in Silsand, Norway

Highly-polished aurora borealis videos are still some of our favorites to collect, but there’s something special about sharing authentic, in-the-moment, real-time footage, especially when it’s on a winter night in Norway. In the video above, astrophotography enthusiast Matthew Robinson walks out the door at 10:30 pm on November 25th, 2020 to find a very active night sky. In the cold, crisp air of Silsand, Norway, you can hear the delighted reactions of his fellow onlookers. From Storyful:

“We understand enough about the aurora to predict that a display like this is likely, but it kept us waiting for two hours. Then, just as we were about to go to bed… bang! It exploded above our heads,” Robinson said.

Robinson added, “Nothing comes close to this experience and I genuinely wish everyone had the chance to see this.”

aurora borealis in norway
What are auroras and what causes them? From NASA’s Space Place site for kids:

Even though auroras are best seen at night, they are actually caused by the Sun.

The Sun sends us more than heat and light; it sends lots of other energy and small particles our way. The protective magnetic field around Earth shields us from most of the energy and particles, and we don’t even notice them.

But the Sun doesn’t send the same amount of energy all the time. There is a constant streaming solar wind and there are also solar storms. During one kind of solar storm called a coronal mass ejection, the Sun burps out a huge bubble of electrified gas that can travel through space at high speeds.

aurora borealis

When a solar storm comes toward us, some of the energy and small particles can travel down the magnetic field lines at the north and south poles into Earth’s atmosphere.

There, the particles interact with gases in our atmosphere resulting in beautiful displays of light in the sky. Oxygen gives off green and red light. Nitrogen glows blue and purple.

The footage was taken at the Aurora Borealis Observatory, a small family driven resort that specializes in aurora tourism. Robinson also took this time lapse video of the local reindeer under the northern lights.


Related videos include reindeer and Norway. Then watch more videos about auroras on TKSST, including:
The Science and Beauty of Auroras
How the Aurora Borealis is created
• This is NOT time lapse: the Aurora Borealis in real time
• A lunar eclipse & the auroras over Alaska, an 8K 360º time lapse

Bonus: Hitch a Ride with Reindeer Herders in Finland.

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