Spectacular displays of the northern lights or aurora borealis in northern Norway.  These are perhaps the most spectacular aurora borealis photos ever !

Photographer Tommy Eliassen chases auroras around northern Norway, to capture them in all their glory.

The northern lights turn the sky green at Hamary in Nordland, Norway

Tommy says he never gets tired of seeing the northern lights.  "We're used to seeing the aurora, but I can understand why people travel around the world to see them. After years of photographing this natural phenomenon I still find it beautiful and fascinating every time."

The northern lights, the Milky Way and several shooting stars are seen in the night sky at Ifjord in Finnmark, Norway

 Tommy, 34, started his photography career in the late 1990s and works in salmon vaccination which allows him to travel around the north of the country.  "I've always been interested in night, landscape and long exposure photography," Tommy said. "But in recent years I've become more and more involved in astro and aurora photography. I guess it's because I'm lucky enough to live just under the Arctic Circle - you can't really avoid the aurora here."

Tommy captures star trails and the northern lights at Aldersundet in Nordland, Norway

Tommy always goes out alone to take his photographs. "There is a bit of planning involved. I always keep up to date on the weather forecast and the sun activity," said Tommy. "One of the most challenging things is that you never know exactly when and where the outbursts will happen. It changes in latitudes and intensity within seconds."   Tommy is silhouetted in front of a spectacular display in Saltfjellet

The aurora borealis, or northern lights as they are known, form when charged particles from the sun penetrate the earth's magnetic field and collide with atoms and molecules to create bursts of light. "Collisions with oxygen produce red and green auroras, while nitrogen produces the pink, blue and purple skies," said Tommy.

A red aurora shimmers over Mo i Rana in Nordland, Norway

This year's aurora season starts again in late August and is predicted to be one of the best yet. 

"The solar activity is expected to reach a maximum in 2012/2013 so we can look forward to many strong aurora displays," said Tommy. 

The northern lights, stars and the moon are reflected in icy water at Aldersundet In Nordland, Norway