june 2012

sweden lights
The Northern Lights over Sweden's Abisko National Park, as photographed by Chad Blakely, who spent 2,000 hours over the last three years shooting auroras in Abisko. His still images were then compiled by editor Thomas Maklowicz in a time-lapse process to create the acclaimed Lights Over Lapland video.

Northern Lights Dance Across Sweden Night Sky in Amazing Video

by Denise Chow

SPACE.com Staff Writer

An incredible time-lapse video three years in the making has captured the bewitching northern lights over Sweden, as seen by a talented aurora photographer who stitched the eye-popping scenes together from thousands of individual images.

Photographer Chad Blakley spent thousands of hours over the course of three winters capturing stunning views of the northern lights from Abisko National Park in the Swedish province of Lapland, which is located approximately 121 miles (195 kilometers) north of the Arctic Circle.

"By my calculation I have spent no less than 2,000 hours pointing my camera at the sky recording the northern lights to create this film," Blakley told SPACE.com in an email.

The nearly 14-minute time-lapse video, called Lights Over Lapland, showcases hauntingly beautiful auroras, with green, magenta, blue and purple ribbon-like hues unfurling across the night sky.

Chad Blakley spent 2000 hours over the last three years photographing auroras in Abisko National Park in Sweden. Editor Thomas Malkowicz compiled time-lapses of thousands of still images to create this truly epic video for www.lightsoverlapland.co

"The video was created using DSLR cameras and a time-lapse technique that required thousands of images and hundreds of hours to produce," Blakley wrote in a description of the piece. "The opportunity to spend so much time in such an incredible environment capturing this phenomenon has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life."

Blakley used special time-lapse photography techniques to create the video.

"Depending on the length of the film I usually shoot anywhere from 400 to 2,000 images over the course of the night and then compress them into a useable sequence," he said. "I feel extremely lucky to live in a place that allows me to see the auroras so often."

Auroras are some of the most impressive night sky experiences on the planet, and the phenomenon has inspired countless photographers and videographers--on the ground and in space. The ethereal northern and southern lights are caused by solar particles interacting with Earth's upper atmosphere.

The northern lights, or aurora borealis, are typically visible in high latitude regions in and near the Arctic, while the southern lights, or aurora australis, can be seen from the opposite pole.

SPACE.com video producer Steve Spaleta contributed to this report. Follow Denise Chow on Twitter @denisechow or SPACE.com @Spacedotcom. We're also on Facebook and Google+.



Aurora Guide: How the Northern Lights Work (Infographic)

by Karl Tate, SPACE.com Infographics Artist

Date: 07 June 2012 Time: 10:38 AM ET

Find out where to see sky-filling aurora lights, in this SPACE.com infographic.
Source: SPACE.com: All about our solar system, outer space and exploration  

Founder/Publisher/Editor: David McGee
Contributing Editors: Billy Altman, Laura Fissinger, Christopher Hill, Derk Richardson
Logo Design: John Mendelsohn (www.johnmendelsohn.com)
Website Design: Kieran McGee (www.kieranmcgee.com)
Staff Photographers: Audrey Harrod (Louisville, KY; www.flickr.com/audreyharrod), Alicia Zappier (New York)
E-mail: thebluegrassspecial@gmail.com
Mailing Address: David McGee, 201 W. 85 St.—5B, New York, NY 10024