Shapeshifting Northern Lights Dance Over Alaska in Amazing Photos
LeRoy Zimmerman sent SPACE.com this panoramic image of an aurora near Fairbanks, Alaska on Dec. 7, 2013. Zimmerman took about 500 shots in half an hour with two-second exposures about every three seconds using a Canon 6D camera.
Credit: LeRoy Zimmerman

Dazzling auroras over Alaska take center stage in these spellbinding images captured this month by an amateur astronomer.

Photographer LeRoy Zimmerman took these stunning panoramic images of the northern lights near Fairbanks, Alaska, on Dec. 7. He snapped about 500 shots in half an hour, two-second exposures taken every three seconds, using a Canon 6D camera.

"Never had to move the camera once," He wrote SPACE.com in an email. "The aurora band sat in place overhead and put on a show.  “It was the only aurora in the sky." [100 Greatest Night Sky Photos of 2013]

LeRoy Zimmerman sent SPACE.com this beautiful panoramic image of an aurora dancing near Fairbanks, Alaska on Dec. 7, 2013. Zimmerman took about 500 shots in half an hour with two-second exposures about every three seconds using a Canon 6D camera.
LeRoy Zimmerman sent SPACE.com this beautiful panoramic image of an aurora dancing near Fairbanks, Alaska on Dec. 7, 2013. Zimmerman took about 500 shots in half an hour with two-second exposures about every three seconds using a Canon 6D camera.
Credit: LeRoy Zimmerman

  • Space.com
  • Yes! I'll never forget Earth's dancing northern lights displays.
  • No - Seeing the dazzling auroras of Earth is my lifetime to-do list.
  • Not Sure - I've seen some strange lights in the sky that may have been auroras.
The northern lights are triggered by charged particles from the sun (the solar wind) that interact with Earth's upper atmosphere. Earth’s magnetic field draws these particles to either the North or South Pole, resulting in aurora borealis, or northern lights, and its southern counterpart the aurora australis, or southern lights.

To see more amazing night sky photos submitted by SPACE.com readers, visit our astrophotography archive.

Editor's note: If you have an amazing night sky photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at spacephotos@space.com.

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