Christmas Auroras Shimmer in Sweden's Holiday Sky (Video)

This still from veteran aurora photographer Chad Blakely's video of Christmas auroras on Dec. 25, 2013 shows the northern lights over Abisko National Park in Sweden.
This still from veteran aurora photographer Chad Blakely's video of Christmas auroras on Dec. 25, 2013 shows the northern lights over Abisko National Park in Sweden. (Image credit: Chad Blakely/Lights Over Lapland)

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 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.

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:

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 video producer Steve Spaleta contributed to this story. Email Tariq Malik at or follow him @tariqjmalik and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.