The bright blue bursts resembled a rain cloud, which was visible roughly between 12.24am and 1.04am in the Abisko National Park, and the display was caused by two rockets.

“The lights turned out to be a pair of rockets that were launched into space to research the Northern Lights,” explained photographer and guide Chad Blakley, from the Lights over Lapland tour company, who shared the sequence of images with The Local.

“The name of the sounding rocket mission is AZURE — short for Auroral Zone Upwelling Rocket Experiment. Its goal is to measure winds and currents in the ionosphere, an electrically-charged layer of the Earth’s atmosphere where auroras appear,” explained Blakley.


All photos: Lights over Lapland

They did this by releasing two chemical tracers which created the colourful clouds — without posing any hazard to local residents. 

“It looks like the Space Invaders game I played as a kid,” said one Facebook commenter, while another compared the blue lights to jellyfish.

GUIDE: How to take the best pictures of Scandinavia’s northern lights

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