Unique images of the Aurora Borealis

Photographer Olivier Grunewald points his lens to the skies in the high latitudes.
By Evan David

It's one of the most mystical experiences on the planet – when solar winds collide with magnetically-charged particles high in the atmosphere, producing a rainbow of colours across the night sky.

Photographer Olivier Grunewald – who also goes to some pretty hot places – has been shooting the northern lights for years. He sent over some of his favourite shots. Enjoy.

Pro tip: use your keyboard to jump between photos
Christmas colours
Aurore Boréale au dessus de l'éruption Islandaise septembre 2014
Christmas colours We have no idea if this shot was taken in December, but it certainly wouldn't surprise us to see Santa's sleigh with those colours in the night sky. © Olivier Grunewald
Bright bubbles
Bright bubbles The Kjell Henriksen Observatory is located on the Svalbard archipelago in Norway. It's one of the foremost observatories in the world for studying the aurora borealis. © Olivier Grunewald
Dishing up a view
Dishing up a view This giant satellite dish is tuned to find disturbances in the ionosphere and the magnetosphere. © Olivier Grunewald
Green ring
Green ring The auroras that form ring-like around the poles are the result of magnetic storms that are set off when the flow of particles that constantly escapes the Sun and hurls into the terrestrial magnetosphere. This is in Trömso, Norway. © Olivier Grunewald
Green scene
Green scene This geo-magnetic storm in January 2012 lit up the sky above Tromsö. Solar activity, which is on an 11-year cycle, reached a peak in 2012 and 2013. © Olivier Grunewald
Starry skies
Starry skies A solar wind generated by a solar eruption creates this unique visual. The northern lights are often best viewed away from cities, and on dark nights without a full moon. © Olivier Grunewald
Lighting up the lake
Lighting up the lake Northern light over Jökulsárlón in Iceland. Jökulsárlón literally means 'glacial river lagoon'. © Olivier Grunewald
Fire in the sky
Fire in the sky In 2010, the Eyjafjôll volcano in Iceland erupted under the northern lights, creating this stunning scene. © Olivier Grunewald
The Great Geysir
The Great Geysir Lights above The Great Geysir in southern Iceland. Every 10 minutes, the geyser erupts. © Olivier Grunewald
One cold cauldron
One cold cauldron The bubble of the Great Geysir, moments before it erupts. One picture, two incredible phenomena. © Olivier Grunewald
Cool, green, and crystaline
Cool, green, and crystaline During 2012 and 2013, intense, frequent polar auroras spilled over into temperate latitudes – giving much of the world a unique chance to see this natural wonder. © Olivier Grunewald
Skies of blue
Skies of blue Grunewald started taking pictures of the Aurora Borealis with film in 1997. With film, you needed a very long exposure, from 20 seconds to one minute. With digital, the exposure is between one to 10 seconds depending of the intensity of the aurora. © Olivier Grunewald
Lines in the sky
Lines in the sky Space meteorology is on its way to becoming as precise as terrestrial meteorology when it comes to predicting what tomorrow’s weather will be like in space. © Olivier Grunewald
Lighting up the lab
Lighting up the lab The EISCAT scientific research station in Tromsö, Norway conducts experiments and surveys on the aurora. © Olivier Grunewald
A man and his work
A man and his work Getting these shots meant many a cold night outside for photographer Olivier Grunewald. Worth it? We say: definitely. © Olivier Grunewald
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