Videos set the northern lights in motion

Astrophotographer Chad Blakley captured this image of the northern lights twisting over a fishing village on the archipelago of Lofoten in northern Norway on Oct. 8. To see more of Blakley's aurora pictures, check out the Lights Over Lapland website and Facebook page. Chad Blakley / Lights Over Lapland

The northern lights are an awesome sight in person — but not everyone can get up to high latitudes where the auroral displays dance through the sky. For the rest of us, time-lapse videos are the next best thing to being there.

Lights Over Lapland's Chad Blakley usually serves as a guide to the auroral show in Sweden's Abisko National Park, but this week he and his wife paid a visit to Reine, a fishing village in northern Norway's Lofoten Archipelago.

"We saw auroras from the moment the sun set, and the show lasted well into the night," he wrote in an email. "We were lucky enough to see spirals, curtains and arcs — some of my favorite types of aurora displays!"

Blakley assembled a sequence of still imagery into a time-lapse video — and he's not the only one who had that bright idea. Over on the other side of the Atlantic, Robert Snache of Spirithands Photography captured the northern lights as they rippled over Lake St. John in Ontario's Ramara Township on Oct. 8. "The predicted aurora came a day early," he wrote.

There was still plenty to see on the night of Oct. 9-10, when Jack Jewell drove about 40 miles north of Duluth, Minn., and set up his tripod on the shore of Whiteface Reservoir. His time-lapse video glows with the greenish northern lights as well as reddish lights reflected by clouds.

Check out the time-lapse videos, making sure you set the controls for full-screen HD with audio on. Then click on the links for more auroral glories.

More auroral glories:

Alan Boyle is'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'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.