This real-time aurora video may not seem amazing at first, but that quickly changes at the 1:52 mark. And without a time-lapse effect, it's also easier to appreciate details like meteors and polar bears.

Time-lapse aurora videos have become so ubiquitous it can seem weird to see the northern lights at normal speed. But sometimes that's the best way to see them, especially if they're moving quickly. The video above — which should be watched in high definition — provides a perfect example. The whole video is worth a look, but if nothing else, make sure you skip ahead and watch from the 1:52 mark.

Filmed by U.K. photographer Phil Halper, aka "skydivephil" on YouTube, the real-time video features aurora borealis outbreaks at three locations. It opens with 20 seconds of distant auroras seen from the window of an airplane leaving Toronto. It then cuts to ground level in Iceland, where a display begins with relatively faint lights and gradually intensifies, sparking bright green ribbons with hints of red.

The video could end there and be a success, but instead it shifts into high gear at 1:52, revealing a Mardi Gras-colored explosion of fast-moving lights directly overhead. In addition to the aurora's color and intensity, the view is especially intricate because it shows a "corona" of northern lights


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