The world’s most beautiful light shows are natural: 20 breathtaking photos of the Northern Lights

Alongside its Southern neighbour Aurora Australis, the Northern Lights (also known as Aurora Borealis) is truly Mother Nature at her finest. These spectacular natural artworks put the colours of the world on display. Here are our favourite photos of the Northern Lights taken by Greenpeace photographers in the Northern hemisphere.

How are the Northern Lights formed?

Charged particles emanating from the sun stream towards earth and then collide with the highest air particles. The color we see is a direct result of which gases are in the atmosphere. Oxygen produces the most common yellow-green color and the violet we often see at the lower edge of the aurora is due to nitrogen.

White Mountains in Quebec

White Mountains in Quebec

Lofoten Islands in Norway

Lofoten Islands in Norway

Lofoten Islands in Norway

Lofoten Islands in Norway

Aurora Borealis in Finland

Aurora Borealis in Finland

Aurora Borealis in Finland

Aurora Borealis in Finland

Aurora Borealis in Finland

Aurora Borealis in Finland

Aurora Borealis in Finland

Aurora Borealis in Finland

Aurora Borealis in Finland

Aurora Borealis in Finland

Northern Lights over Richardson Mountains, Yukon Territory, Canada.

Richardson Mountains, Yukon Territory, Canada.

Northern Lights in Greenland

Northern Lights in Greenland

Boreal Forest in Quebec Canada

Boreal Forest in Quebec Canada

Aurora over Whale Bone in Alaska

Aurora over Whale Bone in Alaska

Northern Lights over Brooks Range, Northern Alaska.

Brooks Range, Northern Alaska.

Northern Lights over Brooks Range, Northern Alaska.

Brooks Range, Northern Alaska.

Northern Lights over Brooks Range, Northern Alaska.

Brooks Range, Northern Alaska.

Northern Lights over Brooks Range, Northern Alaska.

Brooks Range, Northern Alaska.

Northern Lights  over Eagle Plains, Canada.

Eagle Plains, Canada.

Timelapse over Broadback Valley Forest in Canada

Timelapse over Broadback Valley Forest in Canada

White Mountains in Quebec

White Mountains in Quebec

White Mountains in Quebec

White Mountains in Quebec

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