Soar with the Aurora in this Breathtaking Real-time Video

Article written: 3 Dec , 2014
Updated: 23 Dec , 2015
by

“Soaring” by Ole Salomonsen

We’ve posted many beautiful aurora photos and videos over the years here at Universe Today, but this one about stopped my heart. Titled “Soaring”, it was all shot in real time by Ole Salomonsen, a landscape photographer based in Tromsø, Norway. Salomonsen has been shooting spectacular stills and videos of the northern lights for years. While not the first aurora video done in real time, it’s probably the most successful, high definition effort to date. Ole used a Sony A7S, which he calls “the best low light camera ever”.

It was shot from late August to mid-November in and around the city of Tromsø, as well as on the island of Senja, Norway’s second largest island and a three-hour drive from the city. But what sets this video apart from many is that it shows the aurora unfolding live as if you’re standing right there. No time lapse.

Coronal aurora scene from "Soaring". Credit: Ole Salomonsen

Coronal aurora scene from “Soaring”. Credit: Ole Salomonsen

Having witnessed the northern lights many times over the years from my home in northern Minnesota, I can vouch for how close to reality this work truly is. There’s a little more color saturation than what the naked eye would pick up, but the aurora’s changing rhythms are beautifully captured. Ole also mixes in dramatic pan shots taken as if you were running to find a clearing to get the best view. Honestly, that blew me away.

“Although auroras mostly move slowly and majestic, they can also move really fast,” wrote Salomonsen. After seeing the slow undulations of curtains and rays early in the film, you’ll really appreciate the aurora’s other side – its dazzling speed.

Scene from "Soaring". Credit: Ole Salomonsen

The human perspective – another scene from “Soaring”. Credit: Ole Salomonsen

“The corona I captured and the lightning fast sequences at the end are some of the most amazing shows I have witnessed in my many years of hunting and filming the lights,” added Ole.

And now for the most amazing part. What you just watched is only a fraction of what Salomonsen has shot during the season. Expect more soon!

I’m a long-time amateur astronomer and member of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO). My observing passions include everything from auroras to Z Cam stars. I also write a daily astronomy blog called Astro Bob. My new book, “Night Sky with the Naked Eye”, a guide to the wonders of the night using only your eyes, is now available on Amazon and BN as well as in local BN bookstores.

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1 Response

  1. bwana says

    The A7S is the 1st camera I’ve owned that will capture reasonable video of the Aurora Borealis (and handheld). The A7R comes real close but not quite…

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