This Is the Coolest Way to Watch the Northern Lights (Without Going to the Arctic) | Smart News | Smithsonian
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This Is the Coolest Way to Watch the Northern Lights (Without Going to the Arctic)

Pan and scroll your way around the northern lights

smithsonian.com

 

The aurora as seen through the “Little Planet” projection. Photo: Göran Strand

The dazzling display of the northern lights is one of the most valuable perks of living in the world’s colder regions. Outflows of hot plasma, streaming from the Sun, bombard the Earth’s magnetic field. Magnetic field lines snap. Atmospheric gases are are stripped of their electrons. The air is set aglow with ghostly greens and reds.

The northern lights are a favorite subject for photographers and even astronauts, but Swedish photographer Göran Strand has what may be the best chance for aurora-watching from outside the Arctic circle.

Drawing from timelapse images captured with a fish eye camera, Strand put together an interactive timelapse of the northern lights,  from more than 2,000 photos, says PetaPixel. The interactive even lets you change your perspective, switching from the normal “fisheye view,” which makes you feel like you’re there, to the more abstract “little planet view,” which lets you watch the entire display at once.

For a better idea of how the aurora are made, Space has a fairly detailed explanation:

More from Smithsonian.com:

Lighting Up the Arctic Sky With Artificial Aurorae
The Northern Lights—From Scientific Phenomenon to Artists’ Muse

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About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

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