Also known as the aurora borealis (after Aurora, the Roman goddess of the dawn, and Boreas, the Greek name for north wind), these dazzling lights are the effect of charged particles interacting with one another in earth’s atmosphere. These light displays have long been a source of wonder for poets and travelers gazing up at the otherworldly colors in stark contrast with the austere, arctic terrain. However, they can only be seen in person at certain latitudes and times of year, making this breathtaking sight a rare experience for most of us.
To see more views of the Northern Lights, explore the Google Maps gallery. Click across the frozen lake in Finland where these shots were captured, and take in the awe-inspiring views above.