Yuriko Nakao / Reuters
The aurora borealis is seen over campers in the snow in Chugach mountain range, outside the town of Valdez, east of Anchorage on Saturday, April 21, 2012.
Marc Lester / The Anchorage Daily News via AP
An aurora borealis swirls in the sky over the Yukon River village of Ruby, Alaska, a checkpoint of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on March 9.
Oscar Avellaneda-Cruz / Reuters
The aurora borealis is seen from Mile 7 on Beam Road above snow-covered tundras near Nome, Alaska, March 10. A solar storm that shook the Earth's magnetic field on Thursday spared satellite and power systems as it delivered a glancing blow, although it could still intensify until early Friday, U.S. space weather experts said.
Related content: More aurora borealis on PhotoBlog
Martial Trezzini / EPA
The aurora borealis, or the northern lights, illuminate the sky above the village of Kraknes in northern Norway, Feb. 18.
Tommy Eliassen/Caters News Agency
A meteor streaks across the Milky Way adjacent to a display of the Northern Lights in Norway.
A meteor, the Milky Way and the Northern Lights. Capturing just one of these natural beauties in a photo is a feat many photographers would be proud of.
Amateur photographer Tommy Eliassen struck photo gold in this beautifully composed image he shot in Ifjord, Finnmark, Norway.
Eliassen made the photo on Sept. 25 using a Nikon D700 with a wide angle lens and long exposures between 25-30 seconds.
In an interview with Caters News, The 33-year-old, who capitalized on a narrow window of clear skies, talked about the experience.
I quickly went and took some pictures in a regular spot of mine, and thought to myself that I had got some good aurora shots and also some separate good milky way shots. But just as the clouds started to come in over the mountains I noticed this faint aurora lining up perfectly beside the milky way. Normally the lights from the aurora is much, much stronger than the lights from the stars, so getting the right exposure on both is difficult. But it was ideal conditions - almost once in a lifetime.
He was able to snap seven images of the scene before clouds moved back in.
"I was so focused on getting it right that I didn't think about it at the time. But afterwards I realized that this was something special and that it might be years before I get an opportunity like it again," he said.
See more amazing space shots in our slideshow: The Month in Space Pictures.
After staying up all night for a week, Norwegian photographer Terje Sorgjerd captured the aurora borealis in a way few have ever seen before.
He endured forbiddingly frigid temperatures of -15 degrees Fahrenheit while shooting 22,000 pictures of the skies near Kirkenes and Pas National Park in Norway, near the Russian border. A testament to his patience and passion, he referred to the expedition as "good fun." The results are stunning.
For years Sorgjerd planned, waiting for precisely the right conditions, then packed 90 pounds of gear and headed into the wilderness. Using a motion control dolly in conjunction with professional SLR lenses, he created the time lapse video from 1.3 terabytes of pictures.
The Aurora Borealis is caused by radiation from the sun, or "solar wind," interacting with Earth's magnetic field. According to Lorne McKee, a space weather forecaster for Natural Resources Canada, more solar storms are expected, since the sun recently moved from a quiet period in its 11-year solar cycle to a more active phase.
Check out excerpts of his video in our interview with Sorgjerd talking about his work.
The original video can be seen on Vimeo here.
Martial Trezzini / EPA
The aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, are seen in the sky above the village of Ersfjordbotn near Tromso in northern Norway, early on Feb. 21. Aurorae are caused by the interaction between energetic charged particles from the Sun and gas molecules in the upper atmosphere of the Earth, about 100 kilometres up. A stream of charged particles, called the solar wind, flows out into space continuously from the Sun at speeds of 400-500 kilometres per second. On reaching Earth, the charged particles are drawn by Earth's magnetic field to the poles, where they collide with gas molecules in the upper atmosphere, causing them to emit light.
I would love to see this with my own eyes one day. Here is the photographer's detailed explanation:
Aurorae are caused by the interaction between energetic charged particles from the Sun and gas molecules in the upper atmosphere of the Earth, about 100 kilometres up. A stream of charged particles, called the solar wind, flows out into space continuously from the Sun at speeds of 400-500 kilometres per second. On reaching Earth, the charged particles are drawn by Earth's magnetic field to the poles, where they collide with gas molecules in the upper atmosphere, causing them to emit light.