Chasing the Northern Lights

Discover Nature's most Spectacular Light Show

How It Works?

Charged particles from the sun are dragged into the atmosphere by the Earth's magnetic field, and, these charged particles collide with nitrogen and oxygen atoms, releasing flashes of coloured light aka "The Northern Lights"

2013 was the best time to see the nothern lights.

It's a Solar Maximum which means solar activity is at its peak. This only happens once every 13 years, which makes the nothern lights even more vivd and amazing.

Which color occurs at altitudes of which miles?

Red - 150 miles and above
Green -  up to 100 miles
Purple - 60 miles and above
Blue - up to 60 miles

The reason of different colors:

The color of the northern lights, depends on the type of atom involved in the collision. Our atmosphere consists mainly of oxygen and nitrogen atoms. Because the composition of our atmosphere vaires, different coloured auroras occur at different hights.

What's the meaning of "Aurora Borealis"?

Aurora is the Latin word for "dawn" and refers to Roman goddess Aurora. Boreas is the Greek name for the "north wind". It was Pierre Gassendi in the 1600s who first put the name aurora borealis to this amazing phenomenon. This is why we call them the northern lights.

The facts about Aurora Borealis

- The aurora borealis isn't the only 'light show' in the universe has to offer our planet. The Southern Hemisphere has its own version of the northern lights called "Aurora Australis" or "Southern Lights"
- The auroras occur throughout the day but can only be seen by the packed eye at night.

Magnetic Midnight: is the best time to spot the northern lights. It usually occurs around and hour before conventional midnight and is when the viewer, the North Pole and the sun are all in alignment.

What are the ideal Conditions to watch the nothern lights?

-The best times to go are February to March and August to November.
- Dark sky between 9 pm and 2 am.
- Cloudless sky for best visibility.
- Away from the city for less light pollution.
- The Auroras are seen clearest when you are close to the Arctic Circle.

Some favourite locations for spotting them: Nordkapp, Tromso, Kirkenes and Kautokeino

The Types of Auroras:

- Arc Aurora: Some auroras are over the night sky like a rainbows.
- Corona Aurora: These auroras appear as a crown of diverging rays of light.
- Drapery Aurora: The most common type of aurora, which ripples like a curtain.
- Diffuse Aurora: The rarest type of Aurora. It has a featureless glow and its diffucult to spot with naked eye.

Myths & Supersititons

- In ancient China people believed the northern lights were a dragon's fiery breath.
- Many people still believe if you wave at the northern lights, they will carry you away.
- Soldiers in medieval Europe thought that a red aurora borealis meant the outbreak of war.

No comments