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Nocturnal offerings: a northern Minnesota aurora

Photographer Mark Ellis captured the Northern Lights when they became visible late on December 7.

Photographer Mark Ellis compiled this beautiful, haunting time-lapse of the Northern Lights as they appeared late December 7 over northern Minnesota. Ellis describes the process:

The first portion of this video compilation was captured without any forewarning of aurora activity approaching. With clear crisp skies in progress, internet reports of increasing aurora activity began popping up (i.e., A G2-class geomagnetic storm broke out around the poles and Northern Lights spilled over the Canadian border into several US states during the late hours of December 7, 2013.

Near the end of the stronger red-colored portion of the aurora burst in the time lapse capture, a very bright green meteor streaked gently downward and disintegrated into an expanding grouping of green glowing pieces just above the ground.

Temperatures were bitterly cold that night, dipping as low as -20°F (-29°C). The last scene shows the final image coaxed out of the cold and depleted camera battery that night, a parting silhouette image of Mark celebrating the beautiful sky scenes captured that night.

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(Note: if the video doesn’t appear below, try watching the original version on vimeo.)