The beauty Nature brings after the sun goes down

Photo courtesy John Eklund time lapse video: "Purely Pacific Northwest"

It doesn't matter whether you live below the clouds like most of us, or are on a mission high above like those on the International Space Station, the Earth can be a very beautiful place, especially at night.

First, let's being below the clouds here in the Pacific Northwest, where John Eklund at has just posted a new time lapse video showing some gorgeous nighttime scenes from around our region:

This next video is a few years old but shows some of the nighttime scenes of Earth as seen from the ISS. There are a few things to notice here -- the shimmering curtains of light are, of course, the Northern Lights (or in some cases in the video, the Southern Lights), but the static green luminous arc that hangs right above the Earth's horizon is called Air glow.

Also, the little flashes of light in the clouds? Lightning. Pretty cool to see it from way up high:

Finally, speaking of the Northern Lights, they were out this past weekend. Rocky Raybell out in Eastern Washington captured a few shots of the shimmering colors Saturday night:

Thanks all for your amazing photographs!