Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Sunset over Åreskutan

Photo number 4 in my 2014 recap.

Besides moonrises and moonsets I also did a lot of sunrises and sunsets. Here is a shot from April that shows an obscured Sun about to set behind Åreskutan, the biggest ski resort in Sweden.

Strawberry Moonlings

Photo number 3 in my 2014 recap.

During 2014 I shot lots and lots of moonrises. Each time I do a shot like this I try to come up with new ideas on that to illustrate. The full moon of June is called Strawberry Moon so that gave me some ideas to work with. It later tuned out that my models had a much better idea for this shoot. I gave them free hands to come up with something and they sure did.

What you see in this photo are the legendary Strawberry Moonlings. They live deep in the forest and only come out once a year and that is during the full moon in June when the seek out villages and plunder them of all their Strawberries. Here you can see them watching down on a small village.

In the top left corner you can see a closeup shot of these rare scary creatures.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A new day begins

This is photo no 2 in my 2014 recap. Taken just minutes before the Sun rose above the horizon in January. It was a cold beautiful winter morning. In the photo the Moon is in waning gibbous phase and the sky is colored pink and blue.

The blue part is whats called Earth's Shadow. That's the shadow that the Earth itself casts on its atmosphere.

The pink part of the sky is called the Belt of Venus. The name Belt of Venus is not connected with the planet Venus; the Belt of Venus is part of Earth's upper atmosphere which is illuminated by the setting or rising sun. It is visible either after the sun ceases to be visible (at sunset) or before the sun becomes visible (at sunrise).

The storm is coming

The coming days I will look back on 2014 and show you some of my favorite moments from this year.

We'll start of with this is photo from June. It was one of the most exciting weather fronts I ever seen and it swept in over Östersund with thunderstorms and heavy rain. This photo was taken just a few minutes before the rain started. You can see the rain pouring down in the background.

I really like the structures in the clouds, it almost looks like something out of a SciFi movie.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Winter Solstice Aurora

Last night we had some faint aurora over Östersund. The expected solar wind reach us later in the morning so hopefully we'll see stronger aurora tonight, if the weather holds up. So keep an eye on the sky to the north tonight, it might get green :-)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Unusual Sunset

For some time I've had an idea that I would like to shoot a scene during sunset and work with silhouettes against the solar disc. In October of 2014 I finally got around to do it and I called up a couple of friends to see if they were willing to do some acting.

I originally hadn't planed to use sword fighters, but I thought it could be an interesting concept to have some theatrical action in the scene. My two friends are trained amateur stuntmen and used to handle swords so I felt confident that no one was going to get hurt.

A lot of time went into location scouting, I wanted a hill clear of any big trees and buildings and with an even surface so that the action would be clearly visible and the actors easily could move around.

An interesting part in the movie is at the 01:30 mark when you see the exhalation lit up by the Sun.

Music Koke Nunez Gomez - Soul of Warrior

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Geminid meteor shower with aurora

Last night I was out watching the yearly Geminid meteor shower. I only counted for 15 meteors during my two hour stay. It was so windy I had to take shelter most of the time and I couldn't see the entire sky. My camera did catch a couple of faint meteors but not bright enough to be visible in this 90 minute exposure composite image.

Hopefully we'll have another good night tonight and a new chance to see some meteors.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Moon and planet Jupiter

This morning the Moon and planet Jupiter (The little bright dot next to the church tower) had an relatively close encounter, at least from our point of view here on Earth.

The distance to the Moon and Jupiter varies, this morning planet Jupiter was about 1,800 times further away than the Moon. It took the light from the Moon about 1 second to reach my camera, but the light from Jupiter had traveled for almost 40 minutes.

So watching pictures like this is like traveling with a time machine. The old Church tower is present time, watching the Moon we have traveled 1 second back in time and when watching Jupiter we have traveled 40 minutes back in time.

So when this light left Jupiter, I was back home and enjoyed my breakfast. It's things like this that make space so cool :-)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Moonlight Skating

A couple of nights ago me and two friends of mine went ice skating on a frozen lake near Östersund. This night was really magic, no wind, lots of ice crystals in the air and an almost full Moon that shined upon us during our two hours out on the ice. To the right of the Moon you can see the constellation of Orion and down left of the Moon you can see planet Jupiter shining brightly.

Nights like these are almost to good to be true.

Music Stellardrone - Ascent, used under Creative Common Licence

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Honored by the city of Östersund

Imorgon väntar en spännande dag. Då ska jag få ta emot ett hedersdiplom från Östersunds kommun för att under året ha "gjort något alldeles speciellt för att sätta Östersund på kartan". Motiveringen lyder "För hans fantastiska bilder och filmer som fått stor internationell uppmärksamhet och som använts av bland annat NASA samt musikgruppen Coldplay."

Det känns fantastiskt hedrande att få denna utmärkelse och samtidigt väldigt inspirerande att fortsätta göra det jag älskar att göra.

Läs mer på Östersund kommuns hemsida

Prisutdelningen sker imorgon kl. 17:30 på Jamtli.


Honored by the city of Östersund

Tomorrow I will be honored by the city of Östersund for having done something special during the year to put the city of Östersund on the world map.

I'm being honored with this reward for "His amazing photos and films that have received international attention and used by NASA, Coldplay among others."

I'm very honored to receive this award and it's a big inspiration for continue doing what I love to do.

Friday, November 28, 2014

What if...

This is a composite image of white light photography through a normal tele lens and a shot of the sun through a hydrogen alpha telescope. The size of the hydrogen alpha Sun is scaled to match the size that was seen through the tele lens.

Just imagine how it would be like to see a sunset like this.

Shot taken in May 2013 on the island of Frösön close to the city of Östersund, Sweden. The church in the foreground is Rödö kyrka.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Crescent Moon and Earthshine

Tonight's crescent Moon sets behind a small cabin. The night side of the Moon is lit by so called Earthshine, sunlight that is reflected from the Earth to the night side of the Moon.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Lunar Trinity - The Father, the Son and the Moon

Here's a shot of the Moon I took this morning. In the foreground is a bronze statue here in Östersund that's called Father and Son made by artist Olof Ahlberg in 1917.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Aurora long exposure

This is twos photo that shows the Aurora activity over a longer period of time in the same image.

The first photo was taken on October 2nd in 2013. It was shot at lake Storsjön near Östersund, Sweden. The black silhouette by the horizon is the island of Andersön, it has the shape of someone lying down. Apart from the aurora and star trails, you can also see an airplane, a meteor and lights from cars that passed by. You can watch the Aurora in motion here -

The second photo was also taken at lake Storsjön. It was taken on August 28th in 2014. Here you can see the island of Frösön in the background and a bridge leading to the island.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sunspot AR2192

Today I finally got some clear skies and a chance to see the huge sunspot AR2192. It was a fantastic view through the solar telescope and I don't think I ever seen such a huge sunspot.

This is a shot I took today, in the center of the Sun you can see a very long filament. It's longer than the distance between Earth and Moon.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Missing: Nearby star

For almost three weeks now, our closest star, the Sun, is missing. At this time of the year in Östersund, it's usually visible between 08:00 and 17:00. Last know position in the sky was  on October 2nd, low in the west. Hopefully the weather will clear up soon so I can get a good look at the huge sunspot AR2192.

Friday, October 3, 2014

My Equinox Aurora - Astronomy Picture Of the Day at NASA

Today I'm featured as Astronomy Picture Of the Day at NASA with my photo Equinox Aurora. It was taken on September 24 and is a 360° panoramic view of the entire sky. You can see the Milky Way rise from the East and the aurora to the North. Outside of the all sky circle are reflections in the waters of lake Storsjön near Östersund, Sweden.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Behind the scenes of Solar Superstorms

Here are some behind the scenes footage of the work I'm doing on the upcoming Spitz Incorporated movie Solar Superstorms together with Thomas Lucas at Thomas Lucas Productions. The work is coming along just fine and I have some serious amounts of data to process. I will continue shooting during October so let's hope for some sunny days ahead. Read more about the movie.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

220 Volt - Walking in Starlight

I'm proud to announce that one of my photos is featured as the cover photo on 220 Volt's new album Walking in Starlight.

Go check them out at their webpage and listen to their music.

Thanks guys and good luck with your new album!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Lunar Maintenance

The Moon is about to dock onto the lunar station Arcturus in Östersund Sweden, for some maintenance. The latest supermoon event took its toll on our only natural satellite.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Aurora Cupcake - Astronomy Picture Of the Day at NASA

Today my photo Aurora Cupcake is featured as Astronomy Picture Of the Day at NASA.

It's a photo I took on the night of September 1 in 2014 during a quite strong aurora. It shows a double auroral oval over the city lights of Östersund and the village of Ås. While editing the photo I realized it looked like a green cupcake with a purple top. Our Milky Way Galaxy looks like some galaxy topping is being added to a already delicious cupcake.

For more aurora and nightscape photos, please visit my website -
You can also buy prints of my photos in my webshop -

Follow my work on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Noctilucent Clouds

On the 27th of July 2014 I saw some of the most beautiful Noctilucent Clouds I've ever seen. They emerged shortly after sunset and after a while they covered the entire sky. In this movie I've included an all sky time lapse that shows how these clouds changed over the course of two hours.

Music: Chris Zabriskie - Cylinder Five

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Aurora season is here

Last night I got to see my first Aurora for the season, two days earlier than last year but five days later than my personal record from 2011 (August 14th).

It was a faint aurora that lasted for several hours and as you can see it was quite cloudy. The orange/yellow clouds to the right are clouds that are lit up by the street lights from the city of Östersund and Frösön.

Finally the dark nights are here so we can enjoy the auroras ahead and let us hope that there will be lots of them during the coming season.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Solar Superstorms

Finally I'm able to share some news about one of my biggest ongoing projects. It's a upcoming movie production called Solar Superstorms, a movie about our closest star, the Sun.

It's produced by Spitz Incorporated (USA), the world's leading projection dome supplier. They specializes in planetarium theaters, projection domes, architectural domes and custom immersive theater attractions. They also offer the industry's most comprehensive fulldome show library.

Spitz partners in this project are Thomas Lucas Productions ( and the Advanced Visualization Laboratory at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (

My task in this project is to deliver several different scenes of the Sun and some of the affects it has on Earth. I'll start shooting in the coming weeks so exciting times ahead. I'll also keep you posted on my progress and hopefully be able to share some behind the scenes footage of my ongoing work.

Solar Superstorms is scheduled for launch early in 2015. You can read more about the movie in the attached image.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Perseid Meteor Shower

Last night it was the peak of the yearly Perseid meteor shower. Me and two friends went out to see how many meteors we could count. The Moon was very bright so the conditions wasn't perfect.

After three hours we had counted 34 meteors. I also got to see the brightest meteor I've ever seen. First I thought it was a Perseid, but after studying it closer, it can't be since it doesn't come from the Perseid radiant. Anyhow, it burned for 4-5 seconds and left a long trail of smoke and you can see it in the photo with the bent horizon. Half way it broke up in two parts. All in all a good night and I also got a curious little Fox that was checking out my gear :-)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Friday, August 1, 2014

Low and High Rainbow

Here I have combined two shots from yesterday of two different rainbows. It's interesting to see how the Suns altitude in the sky affects the height of the rainbow.

The first photo was taken at 15:25 UTC (Add two hours for Swedish summer time) when the Sun had an altitude of 27° above the horizon. In the second shot, taken at 19:48 UTC, the Sun was just 0.033° (2 arc minutes) above the horizon. At sunrise or sunset a rainbow's centre is on the horizon as seen in the second image.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Strawberry Moonlings

Here's a shot from last night showing the Strawberry Moon. From out of nowhere, the legendary Strawberry Moonlings entered the scene, just in time for when the moon turned up behind the clouds. Probably this family was out hunting for Strawberries. They are know the be awake at night and are seldom seen this close to civilization.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Astronomy Picture Of the Day - A Strawberry Moon

Today I'm published as NASA:s Astronomy Picture Of the Day with a photo I took on May 14 this year. It was taken shortly after the full Moon has started rising above the horizon. Today, Friday 13th of June, it's time for another full Moon, so hopefully we'll see something similar tonight.

Quote from APOD:

"A Strawberry Moon 

June's Full Moon (full phase on June 13, 0411 UT) is traditionally known as the Strawberry Moon or Rose Moon. Of course those names might also describe the appearance of this Full Moon, rising last month over the small Swedish village of Marieby. The Moon looks large in the image because the scene was captured with a long focal length lens from a place about 8 kilometers from the foreground houses. But just by eye a Full Moon rising, even on Friday the 13th, will appear to loom impossibly large near the horizon. That effect has long been recognized as the Moon Illusion. Unlike the magnification provided by a telescope or telephoto lens, the cause of the Moon illusion is still poorly understood and not explained by atmospheric optical effects, such as scattering and refraction, that produce the Moon's blushing color and ragged edge also seen in the photograph."

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

BTS - Sunset With Sunspots

Here's a behind the scenes photo from when I was shooting the sunset the other day. The little blue box on top of the telescope is the camera, a monochrome camera with a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels.

I sat in the shadow beneath the stand to better see the computer screen and be able to monitor the recording. In this picture, I've embedded a actual screenshot from the original movie onto the computer screen to give you a fell of how it looked.

As you can see, the camera was somewhat tilted and not aligned to the horizon, so that has been corrected in post production. Also, since using a diagonal mirror on the telescope, the Sun is moving in the "wrong" direction in the recorded material, so that also needed to be fixed. The last thing I did was to add a yellowish color to the Sun to make it look like we're used to see the Sun.

The original movie is 17 minutes long and shows the entire sunset. In the final movie I've just used 5 minutes where the Sun is passing behind the radar tower and speeded the movie up 5 times to save you guys some time :-)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Sunset With Sunspots

Yesterday I went out to shoot a sunset I've planed since last summer. This time of the year, the Sun passes right behind a big radar tower if you stand at the Swedish National Biathlon Arena in Östersund. The radar tower is located about 10 km away from the arena in a small village called Ås. I shoot the movie using my solar telescope to capture the structures on the Sun. The timing was perfect and the Sun looked really nice since it was full of sunspots and big filaments.

Music: Chris Zabriskie - Cylinder Three

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mountain Startrails

On April 23 I was out looking for the Lyrid Meteor Shower. While watching the sky I set my camera to take several long exposures to make this star trail image with the mountains as foreground. In total I took 80 shots with an exposure time of 30 seconds, so this stacked photo has a total exposure time of 40 minutes. While editing this photo I realized that I really miss the dark starry nights. The stars won't be visible until the beginning of August here in Östersund due to the bright summer nights.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Aurora delivered to Coldplay

I'm proud to announce that my aurora from March 17 in 2013 is used by Coldplay in their unique TV-special Ghost Stories. In the movie my aurora is used when Coldplay performs their new single "A Sky Full of Stars". The movie was shot in Los Angeles earlier this year in front of 800 fans in a specially built amphitheater.

Filmed by Grammy-nominated director Paul Dugdale, Coldplay: Ghost Stories was recorded in a custom-built amphitheatre in front of an audience of 800 fans i Los Angeles earlier this year. The show blends a unique in-the-round performance from the band with cinematic vignettes and immersive 360-degree projections. This TV-special is now broadcast worldwide while Coldplay is touring with their new album "Ghost Stories".

I recorded the aurora over Östersund on 17th of March 2013. It was photographed for 4 hours and then put together to a movie showing the development of the aurora across the entire sky.

Official footage from Ghost StoriesTV Special

Behind the scenes footage of the TV-special

My all sky aurora movie

Factfile about me

I work full time as a professional astrophotographer out of Sweden. My photos has previously been highlighted several times by NASA, National Geographic and other major international online news agencies and magazines. My movies has been broadcast in SVT (Swedish national public TV broadcaster) and Discovery Channel. My aurora movie will also be featured in a new upcoming fulldome show called "Solar Superstorms", a production of Spitz Creative Media, NCSA’s Advanced Visualization Lab, and Thomas Lucas Productions, in association with NASA. I will also contribute with several solar scenes in the movie "Solar Superstorms". In 2013 I was rewarded Astrophotographer of the year in Sweden by the Swedish Astronomical Society.

Photo: Sverker Berggren

Factfile Coldplay

Coldplay is a British alternative rock band that was formed in London, England, 1996. The group consists of vocalist / pianist / guitarist Chris Martin, lead guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, and drummer Will Champion. Coldplay have sold over 50 million albums and is also known for their hit singles "Yellow", "The Scientist", "Speed ​​of Sound", "Fix You", "Viva la Vida" and the Grammy Award-winning "Clocks".

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Little Astrophotographer - Revisited

The last few days I've been going through some of my old photos. Today I visited January 2012 and found my photos from an amazing night with a beautiful aurora. Back then I made a 360° panoramic image showing the entire aurora and projected this as a small planet. I named it The Little Astrophotographer after the well know fairy tale The Little Prince. My little planet photo looks much like that book cover.

I've reworked all the data from scratch and rebuild the little planet image. This time it's much cleaner from noise and I think it has more appealing colors. Just for fun, I also did try a new projection of the old data, I really like the shape of the curved horizon.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Another solar halo

A couple of days ago another strong an beautiful solar halo was visible here over Östersund. I went to a large building called Arctura (Named after the star Arcturus) to capture this halo. Arctura is a hot water storage tank and it's 65 meters high, has a diameter of 27 meters and contains 26 000 000 liters of water. At the top of Arctura is a restaurant and during this day, their guests should have had a nice view over Östersund with this halo.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Solar Halo

Yesterday there was a very strong and beautiful solar halo visible over Östersund. This type of halo is known as the 22° halo and down to the left of the strong halo you can also see a trace of the very rare 46° halo. The halo looks like an eye, the eye in the sky.

You can read more about halos here -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Easter Solar Rabbit

The Eastern holidays are coming up and I thought that this photo would be a good representation for that holiday. It's a shot I took of the Sun on September 4 in 2013. While looking through the details in the images I found one section that had a prominence that has the shape of a rabbit leaping so I've named it The Easter Solar Rabbit.

For comparison, I've also included a scaled sized copy of planet "Egg" that has the same horizontal diameter as a scaled sized planet Earth would have had. Below you can also see a photo of the entire solar disc from that day.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Grand finale

Last night it was the last night with astronomical darkness here in Östersund, so from now on, the sky wont be completely dark anymore until autumn. But what a finale it was, great aurora that was easily seen even within the city lights.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

First Aurora ever

Yesterday I got a visitor from Vancouver, Canada. He's staying here in Östersund for the week ahead. He landed at Åre/Östersund airport late in the evening and after a couple of hours of installment I took him out Aurora hunting. This was the first ever Aurora for him so I'm really glad we did get to see it.

One of the best experiences as a astrophotographer is to watch someone see their first Aurora, to see their reactions and hear their thoughts is very rewarding. It's also very useful for me as a photographer since it gives me inspiration and new ideas for future projects.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Optics Picture of the Day

Today I'm featured as Optics Picture of the Day on Atmospheric Optics with this picture showing upper and lower Moon pillars. This photo is taken on the same night as the previous shot with Mars, Moon and the church, but taken 15 minutes earlier and from a higher point.

Down to the right you can see the same church as in the previous picture and in the middle you can see the newly built skyscraper in Östersund called Fagerskrapan. The bright dot to the left is planet Mars.

Read more about the upper and lower Moon pillars at Atmospheric Optics website -

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mars meets Moon

Last night planet Mars was pretty close to the Moon. Here you can see Mars just above one of the churches in Östersund. The clouds and a mist laying over the lake of Storsjön reflected the light from the Moon very nicely. The light pillar in front of the Moon is due to ice crystals in the air being lit up by the Moon. The effect is commonly known as Moon pillar.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

All Sky Time Lapse 2014-02-27

Another video showing the entire sky filled with Aurora. This time the Aurora had much more red color that that from March 17 in 2013. There were also several coronas and they are clearly visible in the movie. North is down. It's recommended that you watch the video in high resolution.

Music: Chris Zabriskie - Cylinders - Cylinder Two (

Monday, March 3, 2014

Northern Lights big style

On Thursday 27 of February we had a fantastic aurora here in Östersund with lots of red colors. I took the opportunity to make my biggest panoramic image so far. The image below consists of 23 separate images with a 360 degree coverage from the horizon and all the way up to zenith. The original image has a resolution of 25,000 x 14,000 pixels at 300 dpi and with a 16 bit color depth. The file size of the finished Photoshop file with all 23 layers is 13 Gb. I've included a 100% crop from the original image to give you an idea of the resolution in the image. The container is marked with a red square in the image.