The Northern Lights, more properly known as the Aurora Borealis, have long enchanted people from all over the world. With their dazzling colors and otherworldly glow, they might look like magic, but the science behind them is well understood: The shimmer arises when electrons from solar winds interact with the earth’s atmosphere, and the flowing, stream-like movements result because the winds follow the planet’s magnetic force.

Mostly green – the result of wind interaction with oxygen molecules about 60 miles above the earth – they can sometimes glow red when higher altitude molecules are encountered.

If you’ve even seen the Aurora Borealis live, you know how inspiring it can be. But if you live too far south, or aren’t a night owl, check out some of the amazing aurora images captured live by one of our webcams in the north!

Webcam in Porjus, Northern Lights, North View

Webcam in Tromso, Institute of Polar Research, All-Sky Camera Webcam in Porjus, Northern Lights, East View Webcam in Andoy, Alomar Observatory, All-Sky View Webcam in Andoy, Alomar Observatory, North Skyview Webcam in Abisko National Park, Aurora Sky Station, Northern Lights