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This drawing represents one of the Valkiries - female warriors of Norse mythology.

Valkiries

It has been suggested that the northern lights, or aurora, represented the reflections of the shields of the Valkiries in Norse mythology. The Valkiries, whose name means "Chooser of the fallen", were female warriors and special assistants of Odin, the upper deity.

The Valkiries were beautiful maidens sent by Odin to every battle to choose which warriors that died should be escorted to Valhalla. The Valkiries could choose only half of the warriors who died. The other half was chosen by the goddess of beauty and love, Freya. In Valhalla, the slain warriors, named Einherjar, were welcomed with horns of ale by the Valkiries.

Valhalla was Odin's hall in Asgard, the home of the gods. Its walls were made of shields and its roof of spears. Its entrance was the gate of death, Valgrind.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA