The finest display of the Northern Lights seen in southern Finland within living memory appeared in the sky on the nights of April 6th and 7th, 2000. In Helsinki, about as far south as you can go in Finland, hundreds of excited people roused their friends from sleep in the small hours with the words, "Don't ask, just go outside now, you won't believe your eyes."
The Finnish magazine for serious skywatchers, "Tähdet ja Avaruus", (Stars and Space) devoted a special 17-page supplement to the extraordinary spectacle, headlining it as "The Northern Hemisphere Aflame". Well, at least Finland's part of it was. A leading photographer of celestial phenomena, Pekka Parviainen, used up 19 rolls of film, saying afterwards that nothing he had ever seen in 29 years of waiting and watching came close to the visions of that cold night in early spring.
Here you'll find six of Parviainen's best shots, taken between 02.20 and 03.00 at Mynämäki in south-west Finland.