smelov.photo via Instagram

The aurora borealis lights up the sky in the northernmost parts of the world around this time every year. The luminous formations happen when solar particles emitted from explosions on the sun collide with gases in the earth's atmosphere. These are some of the incredible photos people are posting of this year's aurora borealis, or northern lights:

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Arctic Selfie. October 7th 2015 will be a night for the books. It was an amazing experience to see the sky filled with the aurora borealis like this.

A photo posted by Tor-Ivar Næss (@torivarnaess) on Oct 8, 2015 at 11:42am PDT

Apparently, the lights are visible much further south than usual this year, "because of a strange quirk of space weather," the Independent writes.

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Someone even managed to catch a glimpse through the window on his flight from London to New York:

As a bonus, Norwegian cameraman Harald Albrigtsen captured some whales frolicking at night time under the aurora: