Changing Planet

New Timelapse Video: Comet Dances with Auroras

An amazing astronomy video is making the rounds on the web this week showing comet PanSTARRS joined by a magnificent display of northern lights. Veteran astrophotographer Babak Tafreshi has trained his camera lens on a unique convergence of two cosmic events: the display of the icy visitor nearly 200 million of kilometers distant and the particularly haunting appearance of the aurora borealis.

PanSTARRS complete with its sweeping tail of gas and dust can be seen sinking quickly down toward the mountain range after nightfall just as the first hints of a  twisting and winding light display kicks in, filling the crisp and cold skies. The beautiful footage was taken on the night of March 20, 2013 over the fjord near Tromso, Norway.

Comet auroa

Andrew Fazekas, aka The Night Sky Guy, is a science writer, broadcaster, and lecturer who loves to share his passion for the wonders of the universe through all media. He is a regular contributor to National Geographic News and is the national cosmic correspondent for Canada’s Weather Network TV channel, space columnist for CBC Radio network, and a consultant for the Canadian Space Agency. As a member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Andrew has been observing the heavens from Montreal for over a quarter century and has never met a clear night sky he didn’t like.
  • Bulent Atalay

    Please disregard my earlier note. I sent it before finishing it.
    This is a spectacular video. The great German physicist, Werner Heiseberg (Nobel 1931) once remarked, “Never underestimate how much pleasure it gives a man to see what he already knows.” Your blog juxtaposes a pair of topics close to my heart. I’ve visited Tromso twice and have wonderful memories of the area. Moreover, in making calculations in my University Physics classes on Cerenkov Radiation as the result of cosmic radiation trapped in the earth’s magnetic field, I frequently introduced Northern Lights as a dramatic example. Thank you for sharing this dramatic video. (Again, please trash my earlier note, submitted essentially by accident.)

  • Anthony

    Simply beautiful. I will be posting this on my blog. I am now following this blog. Glad I stumbled onto it.

  • Kiran mariet

    It’s simply fantabulous …

  • Matt McCardle

    Did it require the soundtrack, which detracted from the beauty of the visuals…. sometimes silence is enough

  • Shirley


  • Michele Iannone

    A big thankyou to National Geographic and, of course,
    to the fotographer.
    It has been the first time in my life, I saw and I understood how is the “aurora boreale”. .

  • mª carmen romero

    its beautiful, the wonders of space.

  • Maria Luisa Alvarez

    Belleza! Impresionante. Beautiful.

  • Manali zaveri

    Wow, what a fabulous spectrum of neon lights that lit up the sky. I think this video also witnessed a shooting star. Just amazing is the beauty of our cosmos, it always surprises us and taunts our intellects to explore the unknown. Sure! It impresses our minds and curiosity intensifies with more moments such as this–Auroras.

  • Jenny

    Simple things are highly appreciated. Thank you for sharing.

  • Nilufa Nizar

    Thank you, to the photographer and National Geographic,
    It impresses our mind and curiosity.
    First time in my life to know and see about “Comet Aurora Arboreal”

  • Debra Tate

    I lived in Alaska for 3 years and was just awe struck every time I saw the lights! Ice fog also! Driving in ice fog at night is like someone sprinkling sliver glitter in the car lights! They are both amazing to see and I will never forget their beauty. I hope someday to return and see them again.

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