Holy aurora

By Phil Plait | February 6, 2012 7:58 pm

I really don’t think I need to add anything to this. Set it to HD, make it full screen, and turn the sound up.

Tip o’ the magnetometer to Tom Lowe, aka Timescapes.

Related posts:

Two lovely aurora time lapse videos
Real time footage of aurora shows them dancing and shimmering
Time lapse: The Aurora
Awesome timelapse video: Rapture

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Pretty pictures
MORE ABOUT: aurorae, time lapse

Comments (11)

  1. John O'Meara

    So I used to have a thought experiment that went like this: ‘how much faster would the pace of scientific enlightenment have gone if we had two moons’? My though being more moons = figure out gravity faster etc.

    This video spawned a new one: ‘What if you were on a planet closer in on the habitable zone with a bigger magnetic field…how would that change the pace of discovery?’ Would we try to understand it faster, or imbue it with the power of a god or gods longer?

    Ok, I better lay off the gin.

  2. Liisa
  3. jyyh

    I had a hard time believing a friend (also a finn) once when he described (well over a year afterwards) auroras he saw in Lapland during the last solar max…

  4. VinceRN

    Great music to set that to.

    Cool pictures of the Aurora always frustrate me. I have lived in an area where the aurora is occasionally visible (at least in theory) for 14 years now. However, the rare combination of a night when the aurora should be visible, a night when the sky is visible at all, and a night that I can get away from the light pollution has yet to occur.

    One day I will travel north just to see it I think. Usually when I travel it’s south, to warmer climes.

    @ #1 John – Interesting thought. Maybe we wouldn’t do either. Maybe it would just be the sky to us, having nothing to compare it too? As for the two moons thing, I imagine tide tables would be heinously complicated, that would lead us to advance in math faster, figure out gravity faster and we might already be past arguing about a moon base. Or, maybe it would have had such an effect on the environment that we never came down from the trees?

  5. John, it’s not the gin, mate! That’s a really interesting question : what would having more/less visible (or “observable”, at least) phenomena do to our species’ grasp of knowledge?

    My guess is that it depends on lethality (or just physical impact): the more dangerous any given phenomenon is, the more likely it is to be described as ‘holy’ in some way – and therefore, off-limits. And probably for longer, too. Look at thunder and lightning, even today. “It’s the angels moving furniture”, right? :)

    The more direct impact, the likelier the phenomenon will be attributed to a deity of some kind. Look at how long the seasons were held responsible to some deity (or at least, the deity’s state of mind)! Now, if seasons were much more pronounced (like Brian Aldiss’ Helliconia, maybe), I’d reckon it would take centuries longer to be explained rationally. And if they were less pronounced? Hmm, would they be ignored?

    Or maybe I should knock off the Kahlua?

  6. Chris

    At some points it almost looks like the trees are fluttering in the auroral breeze. (Yes I know the aurora don’t move trees, but still looks cool).

  7. I like arouses.Last year there was one on my birthday, I was snoring asleep………….
    That was my lesson, you snooze, ya loose……………..;)

  8. Melusine

    It is my dream/wish to someday go to Sweden and up into Lapland to see the auroras. I saw the faint remnants of one on January 4, 1983 (confirmed by photos in northern CT) but not since because I lived in Texas for 14 years. I’m surprised you haven’t made the trip to see them yet. I just know it would be an incredible moment to see them with one’s own eyes just as looking at the rings of Saturn through a telescope feels more intense than looking at photos.

  9. JP

    Darn you Phil! I’m supposed to be working right now, but how can I be expected to do that with such an amazing video to look at?! Ok, one more viewing, then I’ll get right to work. Honest.

  10. mike burkhart

    Auroras have appered in sky here in the skys of Akron its quite a light show . I like this . the Auroras are a rare sight this far south. Off Topic : Just got the prequial to the Thing (1982 version) it was good and a lot grosser this detales what happened to the Norwegen camp that was the Frist to find the Thing Got a fright when it jumped out of the ice block.

  11. Rich Stevens

    This video is the APOD now. The strangest part of the video is seeing the stars move sideways. To see Orion neither rise or set. I saw the aurora in Tok Alaska in June of 1992 – it was beautiful


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