A “ONCE in a lifetime sighting” of the exceptionally rare red, green and blue aurora has been captured on camera in Sweden.
A group were caught in the middle of a spectacular show known as a corona – when the rays come from above and appear to fall around you.
The peak activity lasted about 15 minutes on Monday night and was recorded by videographer Chad Blakley in time-lapse footage.
Blakley, whose company Lights Over Lapland, offers aurora borealis photo expeditions to the park, was with a tour group in the Abisko National Park when the lights hit.
He said: “I’ve captured hundreds or even thousands of aurora on camera – that one is something special.
“In all my career I have never seen a red, green and blue corona and I’ve been doing this for eight years. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen anything like this.”
The 36-year-old from Springfield, Missouri, continued: “The video is virtually real time, three times faster than what it appeared.
“The video very closely represent what we saw with out own eyes.
“It was directly overhead. You can only see that high speed side to side movement if you’re in the exact right spot.
“The people I was out with, I told them it was a once in a lifetime event.”
Blakley, a wedding photographer before moving to Sweden and discovering aurora hunting, said it an “isolated geomagnetic storm” that caused the stunning display.
The aurora is caused when high-energy particles collide with neutral atoms in earth’s upper atmosphere.
The color of the aurora is determined by the specific atmospheric gas and its electrical state, and the energy of the particle that hits the atmospheric gas.
The atmosphere consists mainly of nitrogen and oxygen, which emit the characteristic colors of their respective line spectra.
Atomic oxygen is responsible for the two main colors of green and red while nitrogen causes the very rare blue and deep red hues.
The Abisko National Park Is one of the best places in the world for northern lights viewings.
Twenty-three year-old Catriona Kirkwood from Stirling was part of the group and said it was an experience she will “never forget”.
“It really was amazing,” she said. “The aurora was moving so fast that you didn’t know where to look or what direction to point your camera.
“I will remember it forever, the sight of it and also the voices from all along the valley saying ‘wow’.”
The Scot, who had travelled to Abisko for a 10 day holiday, said: “I definitely didn’t expect to see a display that good on the trip. I wanted to go to see the aurora and photograph them.”