And you thought igloos in Finland were expensive…

We could tell you that seeing the world from a different perspective is the key to understanding, or one of many other well intentioned phrases about expanding the mind, but we’ll spare you. To be honest, we just saw a picture of the Northern Lights that looked really cool, and since people are obsessed with the Northern Lights, it seemed worth sharing. And ok, ok, it will most definitely change your perspective, unless you’re reading this from the International Space Station…

Alexander Gerst is a German astronaut, orbiting the earth from the International Space Station on behalf of the European Space Agency. Clearly, he’s also got some serious photography skills. The astronaut has been documenting his time in space, and his inimitable views of earth almost daily with captivating images of life from a very different angle. He recently managed to snap the perfect picture of the Northern Lights from above, and it’s safe to say it went viral. In case you’re not very internet savvy, you can click the pictures in his tweet above to enlarge them. Highly worth doing.

Aurora Borealis

The Northern Lights, more properly known as Aurora Borealis is a captivating naturally occurring phenomenon where solar wind pulls magnetically charged particles into the air, creating a brilliant display of green, blue and yellow hues. While the phenomenon is often associated with Iceland, there are quite a few alternative destinations which offer outstanding viewing potential, such as Norway.

Taken aboard a 787 with dim cabin over Iceland…

When & Where

The Aurora Borealis has long mystified travelers, because it’s virtually impossible to predict far in advance. Travelers can wait for weeks, with no solar activity, while others can pop in for a day and be treated to the show of a lifetime. Well, perhaps not quite as good as what Alexander Gerst is able to witness from space – but you know what we mean. If you’re looking for a little Aurora in your life, October thru February generally presents the best opportunities, the further north the better. It may not quite look like this, but it’s always worth it – and as Mr. Gerst says in his now famous tweet “Mind blowing, every time”.

Have you seen the Northern Lights first hand?

Featured image copyright Alexander Gerst // ESA.