Finnish photographer Thomas Kast shares this view of a twisting auroral display. "This photo is taken near a lake shore, you can see the reflection of the twilight," he wrote on Facebook on Aug. 28. "The best part of this 'twirl' lasted about five minutes before it got weaker."
Photographers in northern latitudes are reveling in an early dose of auroral glow — and the rest of us can bask in their reflected glory.
"Still can't believe we had such auroras already in August!" Finland's Thomas Kast wrote on his Facebook page, which features his photos of the northern lights.
In Sweden, Göran Strand jumped into his car and headed for the wilderness to catch the show on Aug. 28. "The entire sky was filled with aurora," he wrote on his blog.
The spectacle is just getting started: Over the Labor Day weekend, an upsurge in geomagnetic activity could produce heightened auroral displays in high latitudes, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center. And the northern lights traditionally get better as the nights lengthen, leading up to the equinox on Sept. 22.
To keep tabs on the aurora forecast, check out NOAA's Ovation map and POES auroral map. And to catch the highlights of the northern lights, look through SpaceWeather.com's aurora gallery as well as the imagery below.
Swedish photographer Goran Strand stepped outside his car to snap this picture of the auroral glow on Aug. 28. ""Not so much structure," Strand said in a blog post. "It was more as if a green blanket was put on top of the sky."
More auroral glories:
Alan Boyle is NBCNews.com's science editor. Connect with the Cosmic Log community by "liking" the NBC News Science Facebook page, following @b0yle on Twitter and adding the Cosmic Log page to your Google+ presence. To keep up with NBCNews.com's stories about science and space, sign up for the Tech & Science newsletter, delivered to your email in-box every weekday. You can also check out "The Case for Pluto," my book about the controversial dwarf planet and the search for new worlds.
First published August 30 2013, 1:59 PM