The Aurora Borealis (the Northern Lights) is the world’s most brilliant light show.
And each year people travel far and wide for a chance to see it.
But how do they work?
The aurora occurs when highly charged electrons (from the solar wind) collide with oxygen and nitrogen in the earth’s atmosphere. These particles congregate near the Earth’s magnetic field.
What’s even wilder…
The color of the aurora depends on which atom is struck at what altitude:
– Green – oxygen, up to 150 miles
– Red – oxygen, above 150 miles
– Blue – nitrogen, up to 60 miles
– Purple – nitrogen, above 60 miles
These magnetic and electric forces are constantly shifting, creating the auroras “dance”.
And the best place to get seduced by the aurora is near the magnetic poles, e. g. Greenland and the Scandinavian coast.
October to March are the best months for viewing because it’s darker. In the summer, most northern locations get sun 24 hours a day, making difficult to view.
Northern Lights in Greenland
The dancing northern lights in the night sky are a sight for the gods which winter holidaymakers in Greenland will in all likelihood come to experience. From early autumn the night sky is regularly illuminated by the northern lights’ green glow.
It is a natural phenomenon that always causes excitement and wonder among those who have never seen it before.
Northern Lights in Norway
Alta is the largest town in Finnmark. A world of adventure awaits you there, all framed by the brilliant blue light and contrasts which are so distinctive of Finnmark in the middle of winter.
The world’s first Northern Light observatory was built there at the end of the nineteenth century and has earned Alta the well-deserved nickname “The Town of the Northern Lights”.
But there are other Norwegian places where you can be seduced by the aurora. Just click on the link above to find out more.
Northern Lights in Sweden
On more than one traveller’s list of things to do before you die, you’ll find ‘See the northern loghts’ jotted down. Rightfully so – these lights are one of nature’s most jaw-dropping displays. Click on the link above to find out the best places to watch them in Sweden.
Feature image (on top): Nothern Lights in Tromsoe, Norway. Photo: Visit Norway
Seducing Northern Lights in Scandinavia, compiled by Tor Kjolberg
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