since 1973 night and day sky have been my inspiration in photography. These pages show sample images of more than 100 000 entries in my archives. All pictures are © Pekka Parviainen. For ordering stills or video footage or to see more samples, please see instructions.

Former Polar Image is split into two parts: Polar Image remains astronomy and atmospheric phenomena oriented while Lux Borealis was established to get space for more images and to move more casual photography there.

Both domains will share same menus and a couple of pages but no images. Upper part of the menu belongs to POLAR IMAGE while the lower part jumps to LUX BOREALIS.

For a more global view of night sky wonders, drop in The World At Night, TWAN site.

I can also provide quality digital footage of the following subjects: noctilucent clouds, aurora borealis, mirages, distortions of sun and green flash, distortions of moon. All subjects are available also in time-lapse (10-100x speeded up), which in most cases reveals a lot more of the nature of the phenomenon. Footage is PAL-MiniDV -format. Find samples in video root page.

Message 2013-08-01: No, this site is NOT DEAD, but I've been in the middle of a major slide scan to save slides on hard disks. More than 1TB is now secured and perhaps some 0.5TB is to come before posting starts. Equally, material from digital cameras is waiting for posting. There will be some 6 000 new images from cameras. Material from slides will be expanded after they have been rescanned (now more professionally); also newly posted images will have larger size.


Message 2011-05-16: A HUGE collection of new digital images was posted in Polar Image (more than 2000 new images). Much of the material is related to atmospheric optics but also moon related material, some comets and cloud phenomena were included. Also main menu itself was revised. A great many new subpages were created to give a more refined division of different phenomena. There is no point to list new images here but rather check new posts from RECENT IMAGES.

Message 2011-02-14: A new batch of travel pictures was posted (in LUX BOREALIS). I had an opporturnity to visit Cape Kennedy during STS-126 lift off. Spare days were spent - once again - visiting NM-AZ-UT. Can't help loving colors and formations of those rocks!
Message 2011-02-12: Some time was consumed in trying to remove haze from pictures taken during USA-2007 travelling. (In LUX BOREALIS.)
Message 2010-11-30: A new category was established into LUX BOREALIS: adhesion chaos on water surface. It is macro photography of how water rises a little bit along plants and rocks and how it forms uneven surfaces and creates a wonderful chaos of colours and textures. About 850 new pictures posted.
Message 2010-11-25: Several hundreds (~800) new pictures have been added into LUX BOREALIS.
Earlier miscellaneous insects were among plant macros, but now they have been moved into bug pages. Some new pictures (~60) are included starting from subpage 5. Old scans of butterflies and dragonflies have been moved into this category. They will be re-scanned one day, but sure this is not a high priority task!
Ice flowers were posted for quite some time ago and new material is to come one day. A new category of ice macro has been started showing the beauty and the great variability of clear ice in different illuminations. The new stuff (~520) begins on sub page 13.
A new category of winter, snow and ice has been started. The first half of this category has been moved here from former plant macros and the new stuff (~225) begins on subpage 14.

Message 2010-10-07: Plant macro pages have got a major update. 400 images were removed, another 400 were removed and will be posted later in new categories 'Ice' and 'Winter', and finally 400 new plant macros were added starting from sub page #84.
Message 2010-10-04: A 200 image update of mirages has been posted. The whole mirage section. was split into 20 sub pages and simultaneously three new categories were added. A few inferior mirages of islands were added plus a great number of solar disks mangled by inferior mirage. Two sub pages of superior mirages of good visibility were added. A few mirages with a boat in scenery were added as well as a few images where boat itself is distorted. Older sub page of miscallenous mirage was split into four new categories: clouds miraging, mirage in land horizon, buildings et c. miraging, and a revised miscellaneous mirages category lost a lot but also came to have some new and interesting material.
Message 2010-05-01: A few more compositions of solar distortions were posted. Images from subpage 5 to page 7 have those. Again, visual impression was the motivation to add these 24 new composites.
Message 2010-04-08: A large update of solar distortions was posted. Images from subpage 5 to page 11 are all new. A lot of visually interesting compositions are presented revealing something of the behaviour of our atmosphere at sunset or sunrise.
Message 2009-10-26: Noctilucent clouds of 2009 have been posted. This update completes noctilucent cloud posting; pages are up-to-date. Sure, only part of all 8500 NLC-images are shown here, but on the other hand missing images would not add too much to current pages.

I feel pity that at the moment I can't afford more web-space. There would be a lot of NLC-time-lapse videos for posting. Also other video material would be ready, but due to short of money the remaining space in my two domains will be reserved for more stills. A crude estimate is that about half of the intended images is now shown (now 14 000+ images). Large categories that are not shown are cumulus clouds, cirrus clouds, boring ordinary clouds, astrophotography, mixture of atmospheric and optical phenomena, several hundreds of travel pictures, a few thousand macros, and also a number of large updates, f.ex. halos and iridescence.
Message 2009-10-05: Noctilucent clouds of 2005, 2006 and 2007-2008 have been posted. Thumbnail pages are quite large due to number of images.
Message 2009-07-11: Noctilucent clouds of 2000-2001, 2002-2003 and 2004 have been rescanned and new images added. Also a short table of 30 years observing was posted. Years 2005-2008 are about to appear soon.
Message 2009-05-20: Noctilucent clouds of 1991-1996 and 1997-1999 have been rescanned and new images added.
Message 2009-05-13: All the huge NLC-archive has been rescanned and samples of displays are posted replacing the old stuff. Firstly a few rocket exhausts are posted anew with an addition of the STS-126 shuttle launch. Of the NLCs here are periods 1977-1985 and 1986-1990 posted anew. More will follow after I have prepared news scans for posting (including all years up to 2008).
Message 2009-05-12: A complete new scan of rainbows was posted. Total of five pages of thumbnails show a lot of new images.
Message 2008-08-20: Scanning is going on with 'mixed optical phenomena'. However, a 'controversial' update was posted in Lux Borealis: 220 images of alpacas! These funny and relaxed looking camelians are just too inspiring to be neglected after having had an opporturnity to follow their life.

Message 2008-07-12: A major update is finished with mirages. All old images were re-scanned, a great many new were added and what is also quite important: tens of composite images were compiled to show how differently mirages can distort some particular object. Total of 450 images were posted.

To the other site Lux Borealis about 1800 new macro images were added. What is new here is a great number of images of ice sceneries and of ice in general.

Message 2007-11-30: Major split into two domains was finished. Here in Polar Image a large quality scan of auroras 1980-2002 was posted. (Quality scan for years 2003-2007 was posted a year ago.) New site Lux Borealis got most 'non-atmospheric phenomena' images plus a completely new category of Tourist snapshots was added there.
There are some linking problems between the two domains, but they will be soon solved. When you find broken links or missing images, feel free to notice. Thanks!
Next update will be mirages and winter macro photographs.
Message 2006-12-28: A HUGE macrophotography section has been opened: 1500 macro images of plants and of nature in general.

NEW mailing address
Pekka Parviainen
Taskulantie 2 E 78
20300 Turku, Finland

Tel. +358 400 74 32 32
(Mobile, usually open 24h)

    e-contact: In all cases use primary address
However, if this keeps failing, try secondary
None of the addresses accepts large attachements.
One reason to bouncing mail may be too large a file or too many smaller files
attached. There are ways to exchange larger files; see instructions . If you are in a
hurry, please ask for fast response and if necessary use mobile phone to "alarm".
These back-up routines are due to problems met by some when trying to
use primary address and continuously getting error reports.
NOTE also: Use of phone may be necessary to get a prompt answer, because I
may be out for several days doing photography.

Main page with categories


Message 2006-12-20: A minor but most interesting aurora addition has been posted: Simultaneous aurora photography from ISS and from ground.
Message 2006-12-17: A major aurora update has been posted. First of all years 2005 and 2006 were posted as well as some 100 new images to years 2003 and 2004. What is more important, all new aurora material 2003-2006 has been re-scanned and posted using higher resolution. Within a week or so a major plant macro photography batch will be posted.
Message 2006-10-05: A huge cloud update - 1700 more clouds - has been posted. This is perhaps one fourth of what intention is. The next cloud update (however, after several more urgent updates) will consist of "pure" cumulus-family clouds only. For fast access go to mixed cloud root.
Message 2006-03-25: FINALLY!!! A huge lunar update is done. About 1400 new images of lunar phases, craters, apparent size, libration, terminator shift and of opposite phases were posted. For fast access go to lunar image root. If you are not interested in ordinary lunar phases or craters, clic one of the categories with Moon--...
I now will return to scan some 1500 clouds and also mirages will be scanned anew with new stuff added.
I was forced to change the server for polarimage.fi . While doing that all links and images were checked. Mirror of www.polarimage.fi in my own PC is working OK, has all links OK and especially all 4500 images and their thumbnails are OK. However, if you detect broken links or missing images, I would be most pleased if you could pass a short notice.
Message 2006-03-04: Total of 450 - practically all new - ice flowers were posted. Images have now a higher resolution to show more of these beauties. For fast access to any new images, see category Recent. I now return to tune images for a major lunar image posting.
Message 2006-02-23: About 100 autumn leaves were posted just to give a brief moment to breathe between a major lunar image processing. Before lunar images a major post of ice flowers is finished.
Message 2005-04-07: About 300 new clouds were posted and total of 300 new auroras, lunar eclipses, noctilucent clouds, comets and other moon related images.
Message 2004-10-26: OK, new linking and updated layout should be done and working. If you find broken links or missing images, feel free to inform.
A few words about page linking. There are 5 root level chains: auroras, stars--halos, cloud pages, noctilucent clouds--stereo images and gallery images--favourite links. Each of these 5 root chains is bidirectional.
Different categories are grouped along these root pages and divided into sub categories. All thumbnail pages in each root have birectional chaining, i.e. in particular root all thumbnails can be browsed through by clicking thumbnail pages' links. Each thumbnail page has also a link to the corresponding root directory. I have found this structure easy to navigate around. It is also more flexible to my new image posting.
Each category has its own background image (which at the moment is the same all over). I have to consider whether this too much slows down thumbnail page loading, or is disturbing due to delays in tiling the background. Care must also be taken in choosing "final" background images in the coming weeks.
I have not updated texts on pages (except link page). This work will be done while posting new images later.
There is a new CLOUD category: clouds photographed from plane (at the moment empty). As a companion to this, another new page was added: airplane seating in the light of cloud photography.

Now it is time to resume new image posting (especially now that video pages have been updated).