16/05/2012 07:28 BST | Updated 17/05/2012 10:35 BST

Aurora Borealis, Northern Lights Glow In Norway Skies (PICTURES)

Sleeping under the stars, particularly when they look like this, is something most people can only dream of.

But for photographer Tommy Eliassen, it's a nightly occurrence. Thankfully he's generous enough to share the incredible views above his home town of Mo i Rana, Norway, with this series of stunning snaps.

He said: "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.

Scroll down for a gallery of Tommy's photographs

tommy eliassen aurora

These are common sights above Mo i Rana, 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.

"Since the beginning I've 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."

Mo i Rana is located 50 miles south of the Arctic Circle and temperatures can drop below -20C in the winter.

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.

tommy eliassen aurora

The phenomena occurs when particles from the sun penetrate the earth's magnetic field

"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."

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.

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.