Aurorae were once believed to be warring clans of spirit soldiers, the skyward ghosts of virgin women, or the glow of fires burning inside celestial caves. Today we know they’re caused by ions in the atmosphere getting zapped by charged solar particles caught up in Earth’s magnetic field. But the knowledge of what creates aurorae doesn’t make their shimmering dance any less beautiful for those lucky enough to see them. I’ve personally never witnessed an aurora, but photographer Ole Salomonsen has — and he’s created yet another gorgeous time-lapse of the northern lights over his native Scandinavia to share their beauty with the world.
“Silent Storms” is Ole’s fourth consecutive aurora video and was photographed and filmed in Sweden, Finland, and, mainly, around Tromsø, Norway. The progression of autumn to winter and then to spring showcases how the night skies over these far northern lands changes with the seasons.
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“Late August/early September you are still battling against the Sun, with the skies appearing very bluish,” Ole writes on his Vimeo page. “When winter has settled you have the most beautiful period, with snow coverd trees, icy reflective grounds, partially frozen rivers etc. In March/April when spring arrives [the] Sun is coming back, causing bluish skies again, but you also get beautiful colors from the Sun in the horizon to combine with auroras, if lucky.”
Video © Ole Christian Salomonsen. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
Read more about the folklore of aurorae here.