Photographer captures northern lights and rare night-shining clouds in timelapse footage

Photographer Siv Heang Tav captured timelapse footage of the northern lights in Alberta, Canada.

The video, recorded on June 10, shows the hazy blue and teal light display of the aurora borealis. Heang Tav snagged a stunning waterfront view of the natural phenomenon, and it’s only enhanced by dancing fireflies, the starry sky and an unobstructed horizon.

“You can see aurora, a faint glow from noctilucent clouds on the horizon and fireflies glowing in the grass both in the foreground and on the opposite side of the lake,” Heang Tav said according to Yahoo News.  “Temperatures were a bit cold, so the fireflies were not actively flying much, just blinking in the grass.”

The aurora borealis in the north, and the aurora australis in the south, is a display of dancing lights created by collisions between electrically charged particles emitted from the sun. The variations in color are attributed to the different kinds of particles. Yellowish-green lights are created by oxygen particles, for example. 

Also seen in the video are noctilucent clouds, also referred to as night-shining clouds. Typically visible at Earth’s higher latitudes, the silvery clouds shimmer at night. Unlike other clouds, they’re actually made of ice crystals that form on the dust particles of meteors. 

Heang Tav’s timelapse footage provides a romantic view of nature’s annual light show. Although the photographer caught this moment in June, the best time to see the northern lights in Alberta is from September through mid-May. 

If you liked this story, In The Know also covered the science behind how the northern lights are formed.

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