The Christmas holiday was extra merry for a veteran northern lights photographer, who captured yuletide auroras shimmering across the sky over Sweden's Abisko National Park.
The Christmas northern lights video was recorded by aurora photographer Chad Blakely recorded at 3 p.m. local time Wednesday (Dec. 25) after he heard about the celestial display from a guest.
"I immediately grabbed my camera gear and sped down to one of my favorite places in the ark to photograph the northern lights — the frozen shore of Lake Torneträsk," Blakely, of Lights Over Lapland, told SPACE.com in an email. "I quickly set up my camera and by 3:30 p.m. the sky was full of red and green auroras — the perfect colors for Christmas."
Auroras occur when charged particles from the sun's solar wind interact with the Earth's upper atmosphere, causing a glow. The particles are funneled toward the Earth's poles by the planet's magnetic field, so observers in high latitude regions like Sweden's Abisko National Park can see amazing aurora displays.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the auroras are known as the northern lights, or aurora borealis. When they occur over the Southern Hemisphere, they are dubbed the southern lights, or aurora australis.
For Blakely, the timing of Wednesday's Christmas northern lights show made it a great opportunity to pause for reflection.
"I sat for several hours watching the auroras dance overhead and I was reminded once again of just how amazing it is to live and work in a place as spectacular as Abisko National Park," Blakeley said. "Looking back through my images from previous years I believe that we have seen powerful auroras in Abisko every Christmas for the last five years. I hope next year will be no different!"
You can see a high-resolution view of Blakely's video on Vimeo here: https://vimeo.com/82707717
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
SPACE.com video producer Steve Spaleta contributed to this story. Email Tariq Malik at email@example.com or follow him @tariqjmalik and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on SPACE.com.