09/30/2011 06:57 pm ET | Updated Nov 29, 2011

Aurora Photos: The Best Pictures Of The Northern And Southern Lights

There have been some stunning photos (and videos) taken of the aurora this year, and we just can't get enough of them.

So as the seasons change and the days grow shorter, it's a good time not only to look back at some of our favorite images of this natural phenomenon, but check out some new pictures, too.

NASA says that more geomagnetic storms occur in the fall and spring, and this is a great time for viewing the aurora borealis or australis (if you're lucky enough to be in an area where it's visible!)

According to the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, an aurora is caused by the collision of electrons from space with atoms and molecules of gases (like oxygen and nitrogen) from the Earth's atmosphere. This collision results in a transfer of energy to the oxygen's electrons, and, as a result, quick bursts of light are emitted. A great number of these collisions create the light that's visible to the naked eye.

The aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, is seen in the northern hemisphere, whereas the aurora australias, or southern lights, is visible in the southern latitudes.

Here's a gallery of some images of the aurora, from space and from terra firma. Be sure to vote for your favorite!