Northern lights (aurora borealis) are a natural phenomenon caused by solar eruptions. It is often associated to the far North and winter, but can be seen at any time of year and at almost any place. However, it's best observed during the dark winter months in a belt around the magnetic pole at a distance of about 2,500 km called the auroral zone, which includes parts of Canada, Alaska, Siberia, Greenland, Iceland, and Scandinavia. Svalbard, where the pictures are from, lies in the periphery of this belt, meaning the mainland of Norway actually is a better place to see northern lights. On the southern hemisphere, the similar phenomenon is called aurora australis and happens simultaneously with the northern lights.