Spectacular new images of the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, have been released by the US space agency NASA after their capture by a new time-lapse photographic technique.
NASA has taken numerous images of the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, over the years, but these are the first "moving" images combining hundreds of still images taken from the International Space Station.
Digital cameras are providing NASA scientists with some of the clearest, highest resolution images of space they have ever seen.
One NASA scientist has turned to time-lapsed photography, stringing together digital images rather than video for images of movement in the heavens.
Earth Scientist Melissa Dawson came up with the idea late last summer when she saw images from the International Space Station taken every three seconds as the station passed along the eastern coast of North and South America.
Each of the time lapse videos requires at least 500 images to produce the sense of movement as if in a video image.
Auroras form when a "solar wind" of charged electrical particles from the Sun enters Earth's magnetic field, accelerating electrically charged particles trapped within.
The high-speed particles then crash into Earth's upper atmosphere over the polar regions, causing the atmosphere to emit a ghostly, multicoloured glow.
First Published: Friday, February 10, 2012, 19:34