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Category: What is The Northern lights



northern lights videos


The Northern Lights Videos have been recorded by a lot of aurora hunters and lovers around the world. No doubt, many of the videos recorded and uploaded on the internet shows how amazing the northern lights are when they appear in the sky. The videos show the different colors and the different style in which the northern lights display. These videos have been compiled from different locations around the world. Some of these videos showing the astonishing aurora borealis are:

The northern lights videos to watch

Firstly, this is one of the brightest northern light display that has been seen so far and it shows overhead in the far north of Scotland on 25th of February 2014. This video was recorded by Maciej Winiarczyk in 2014.

Secondly, the above video is one of the northern lights videos that shows how the aurora is created up in the sky.

Thirdly, this northern lights video was captured in 4K Ultra High Definition by Ronn and Marketa Murray.

Furthermore, this is a video showing the spectacular northern lights Norway. Filmmakers Claus and Anneliese Possberg used about 600 frames to create the video.

The above video shows the colorful dancing lights of the Alaska northern lights. It is one of the northern lights videos you can’t wait to watch as it can make you change your dream

In addition, if you are willing to see how the Finland northern lights looks, the above video shows how amazing the sky can be with its aurora display.

Of course, out of all the northern lights videos, the above video is one of those ones who shows how beautiful the Iceland sky can look with its aurora display! As a matter of fact the Iceland northern lights are amazing.

The skies of Greenland is also one of the skies endowed with the wonderful aurora display. Greenland northern lights are also amazing!

The video above shows the northern lights Scotland . It was taken in the year 2014. The beauty of the aurora in Scotland is one of a kind!

On April 9th, 2015 this wonderful video of aurora display was captured in Yellowknife, Canada. This video show the northern lights Canada.

In conclusion, you can get more exciting northern lights videos. You can watch on youtube and some other websites!




northern lights books


The northern light is a natural phenomenon that is known by a large number of the world population, with various culture and country having different views and beliefs about the aurora (Borealis and Australis). However, base on various understandings, scientific researchers, and cultural beliefs, different books have been published to help you understand more about the northern lights and southern lights. However, you can also do researches on the internet so as to have more knowledge of the aurora. Some of the northern lights books that can give you more insight about the aurora will be discussed in this article.

The northern lights books you can read

Some of the best aurora books northern light lovers and hunters read are:

  1. Northern lights: The Science, Myth, and Wonder of Aurora Borealis.

northern lights the science myth and wonder of aurora borealis.

The book was published in English on November 10, 2001, by Sasquatch books. The authors of the book are Calvin Hall, Daryl Peterson who has been photographing the northern lights since the 1980s and George Bryson. The first two authors (Hall and Peterson) came up with the photography while Bryson came up with the text. You can get the book here. Many of the aurora lovers who read this book always want to rush to Alaska and see the amazing lights.

Similarly, another book about the northern light that is written by same authors is The Northern Lights: Celestial Performances of the Aurora Borealis. Get it here

  1. Auroras: Fire in the sky

auroras fire in the sky

This is another wonderful book that can give you more insight about the aurora lights. Actually, this book was published on October 13, 2011, by Firefly books, and it was written by Dan Bortolotti with the photography and videography by Yuichi Takasaka. As a matter of fact, this book has answers to many questions like:

  • How do scientists study aurora?
  • What causes the different colors of the lights?
  • Why are the lights seen in high latitudes only?
  • Why does aurora cause Havocs such as blackouts?

In addition, you can get the answers by purchasing the book here

  1. Aurora: A Tale of the Northern Lights

aurora a tale of the northern lights

This is an aurora book published basically for someone between the age of 6 and 9. However, it is a book that is very helpful in impacting the knowledge of the aurora into kids. It was published by Alaska Northwest Books on February 1, 2001. The author of this book is Mindy Dwyer. You can get the book for your kids here.

  1. Northern Lights: A Practical Travel Guide (Bradt Travel Guide)

northern lights a practical travel guide bradt travel guide

No doubt, this is one of the northern lights books that gives you information on almost everything about the aurora. It gives you information on what to wear, how to understand northern lights forecasting, the science behind the aurora oval and much more. This book is published by Brady Travel Guide on November 7, 2015. The author of the book is Polly Evans. You can get the book here.

  1. Aurora’s Winter Waltz – Northern Lights Photography

auroras winter waltz northern lights photography

This book is published by Alpenglow photo/ Alaska on the 15th of June 2010. Michael Klensch who is an Alaska photographer is the author of this book and he provides 64 pages of breathtaking aurora images. You can also see how beautiful the aurora lights can be by purchasing this handbook.

Furthermore, some of the other books are;

  • Beneath the Aurora
  • The Northern Lights: The True Story of the Man Who Unlocked the Secrets of the Aurora Borealis
  • The Northern Lights: Secrets of the Aurora Borealis

Finally, all the northern lights books mentioned above have been very helpful. You can also purchase any of these books and get yourself a better knowledge of the wonderful sky display phenomenon called the northern lights.



real northern lights


As it is known that the aurora borealis which is also known as the real northern lights occurs in the northern hemisphere region of most of the planets including earth. It is formed when the giant cloud of gas that comes from the sun which is known as the coral mass ejection or solar winds or storms collide with the magnetic fields.

Even though this phenomenon has been a stunning and amazing display in the sky which pleases the eye, the solar winds that contributed to their formation have been discovered to be a channel of some havocs. It has been discovered by the scientist. They can stop GPS connections and radio connections. They can even cause power outages which have been experienced in some parts of the world many years back.

The havocs the real northern lights cause?

The little havoc caused by the occurrence of the real aurora borealis often happen when the sun’s magnetic and sunspot cycles reach their peaks allowing solar storms to bombard the earth and solar system with radiations and magnetic fields. Even though the earth’s atmosphere is said to have the ability to protect the earth from the radiation, the solar winds can still do a bit of damage.

Some of the havocs that can be caused by the northern lights are:

  • It can shot out satellites and take down cell phones, GPS, the internet, and TV services.
  • Power grid can be interupted which leads to overloads, dangerous power surges, and widespread power outages.
  • It increases corrosion and breakage of fuel and gas pipelines.
  • Communications are also knocked out.
  • It confuses electromagnetic gadget and compasses.

Where the havoc has been experienced

The entire province of Quebec, Canada experienced an electrical power blackout on March 13, 1989. The magnetic disturbance from the real northern lights was incredibly intense. It created electrical currents in the ground beneath much of North America. Just after 2:44 a.m. on this date the currents found a weakness in the electrical power grid of Quebec and in less than 2 minutes, the entire Quebec power grid lost power. The solar storm as powerful as the one that happened in Quebec is rare.

On September 1 and 2 the year 1859, one of the largest recorded solar storms occurred all over Europe and North America where the telegram systems failed. It even causes some of the telegraph operators to experience electric shocks. This event is known as the “Carrington Event”.

In Iceland, it was said that power outage was experienced due to the action of the solar wind. It has not been recorded or backed up with any evidence, so the exact time and date is not known. Also, in July 2012, there was a massive solar wind that ripped through the earth’s orbit but we are lucky that it missed us.

But what if a massive solar storm hits the world today? This is a question that needs answers. Today electricity is far more important compared to the year 1859 and 1989. People now solely depend on GPS and satellites. If the solar winds strike the earth today, it can melt the copper windings of transformers that are fixed in the heart of power distribution systems. This can lead to a lot of power outages. In this present world of ours, the power grid has much more grown interconnected over time. So, the effect of the massive solar storms can lead to an outage that can spread both far and wide.

The extent of this effect cannot be estimated. If the lights go off a lot of things will be affected such as the internet, ATMs, gas pump and any other device that draws current from the wall. Medications and perishable foods can also be affected. In short, it can affect every area of life. This power outage could be experienced for a long time and be felt in the whole world.

The real northern lights are amazing but the earth will never wish to experience the bad side of it that can be caused by the solar storm! You can read more here




space aurora borealis


The auroras, both the Borealis and the australis are also known as the northern lights and the southern lights. They are a natural phenomenon that occurs in some parts of the earth. From the prior knowledge of the aurora, the northern lights occur in the northern hemisphere while the southern lights occur in the southern hemisphere. Both can be seen in different countries of the earth. Some are the UK, Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Australia, New Zealand, and much more. However, this natural phenomenon (aurora borealis and australis) is not limited to the planet earth alone. It can be seen in other planets of the universe. The space aurora borealis may come as a surprise to you but it shouldn’t be a surprise.

It has been confirmed by space scientist that some of the closest neighboring planets such as Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune have their own auroras. Auroras that are similar to the one found on earth has been seen on some planets. These are Saturn, Uranus, and Jupiter. Mercury is the only planet where the aurora has not been seen.

How do auroras occur on other planets?

The occurrence of the aurora lights on other planets is similar to that of the earth. Though for Venus and Mars, they occur from a different process. On other planets apart from Venus and Mars, the aurora is formed when the solar winds come in contact with the planet with highly charged particles. The planet’s magnetic field then deflects a lot of them before they get to the atmosphere. Often, these winds are boosted by coronal mass ejections or solar flares that release a large amount of plasma.

Some of the ionized particles then get trapped in the magnetic field as soon as these intense solar winds get to any of the planets. These particles that are trapped in the magnetic field are then accelerated along the field lines toward the poles where they can enter the upper atmosphere. They then collide with gas particles that cause them to emit bright light. This process gives birth to the mesmerizing aurora borealis and aurora australis.

However, talking about Venus and Mars, the aurora borealis from space forms in a different way. These two planets do not have any significant magnetic field even though they have an atmosphere. On Venus, the scientist found out that as the solar wind interacts with the layer of the atmosphere with the most charged particles which are also known as Venusian ionosphere. This induces a magnetic field which now stretches out away from the sun. It then give a magnetotail which redirects the particles that are accelerated into the atmosphere and forms the aurora.

Also, the Mars’s atmosphere is too thin that the same process as the other planets cannot occur there. Aurora is created here by localized magnetic fields buried in the planet’s crust. These are the remains of a larger, global magnetic field that disappeared as the core of the planets cooled. The interaction between the mars atmosphere and the solar winds result in distinct auroras that are restricted to the regions of crustal fields.

Occurrence of space aurora borealis

The aurora has occurred on many planets of the universe and these are:


On this planet, the auroras borealis from space appear near areas of magnetized rock within the crust of the planet rather than near the poles, when charged solar particles concentrate toward them. Scientists discovered that the light emission’s location is equivalent with the location of the strongest magnetic fields found on Mars. The type of aurora formation found on mars is totally unique.

aurora mars


Though the planet Venus has been said to have a different process of aurora formation compared to that of earth, scientist discovered that the same process that causes auroras on Earth can form a gigantic magnetic bubble around Venus, allowing auroras to occur. This is possible because of the magnetotail possessed by Venus.

aurora venus


The size of Saturn’s aurora is different for that of the earth. They can extend to an amazing height of 621 miles above Saturn’s cloud tops. On this planet, the aurora is not visible to the human eye. The emitted light lies in an infrared and ultraviolet spectrum we can’t see. Just like on earth, Saturn’s auroras occur near the planet’s poles.

aurora saturnaurora saturn


Many of the space aurora borealis and australis formed on Jupiter are due to the trapping of particles within its own magnetic environment. Unlike Saturn, the main aurora ring of Jupiter maintains a constant size. Just like Saturn, the moons of Jupiter are also believed to possibly have the ability to influence the space auroras.

aurora jupiter


Unlike on Earth, the space aurora borealis formed on this giant ice planet appear far away from the south and north poles. The auroras here are fainter than that of Earth. They last only a couple of minutes, unlike those on our planet Earth, which may last for hours. Hubble Space Telescope detected the presence of auroras on Uranus in 2011.

aurora uranus
Aurora Uranus

Finally, seeing the space aurora borealis on other planets is as amazing as seeing them on earth. They display different colors that please the eye.



northern lights cities

There are many aurora countries on earth with each having their own northern lights cities.

Countries and their northern lights cities

Norway – early September – early April – click here for detailed information

The northern lights can be seen in various cities in Norway. These cities are Senja, Alta, Kirkenes, Lakselv, Narvik, Harstad, Oslo, Bodø, Andøya, and Tromsø. The aurora can be seen in these cities during the winter months. These months are from early September to early April. Preferably when the nights are dark. It is highly visible in March, September, and October.northern lights cities

Sweden–September – April – click here for detailed information

There are various northern lights cities in Sweden. These places are Jukkasjärvi, Abisko, Porjus and Laponia, Gällivare, Arvidsjaur, and Jokkmokk. You can have the opportunity to see the northern lights here between September and April. Here the aurora is strongest between 22:00 pm to 23:00 pm at night.

Iceland–September – mid-April – click here for detailed information  

The aurora can be seen in some cities and places in this country. These are Westfjords, Borgarnes, Reykjavík, Vík, Landmannalaugar and Jökulsárlón. You can see the aurora between September and mid-April. It can also be seen earlier than expected in August. The best time to see the aurora in Iceland is between 21:00 pm to 03:00 am. Although you can see them during the nights and early in the evening.       

Finland–September – March – click here for detailed information

In this place, the aurora can be seen in locations such as the Kakslauttanen, Utsjoki, Rovaniemi, Sodankylä, Ivalo, Nellim, and Kilpisjarvi. You can see the northern lights on every clear night between September and March. Also, you can see it when the skies are starry between 21:00 pm to 2 am.

Ireland–September – March – click here for detailed information

There are some northern lights cities where you can see the aurora in Ireland and these places are Donegal (Tory Island, Mamore Gap, Arranmore, and Malin Head Co.), Mayo (Inisturk, Belmullet), Leitrim, Sligo, and Mullaghmore. It can be seen in these places during the darkest months. These months are September, October all through to March. It can also be seen around 9:30 pm to 1 am.

UK–September–April – click here for detailed information  

In the UK the aurora can be seen in Northumberland, the southwest of England, the Lake District, Wales, Northern Ireland and much more. The best time to see the aurora here is during the winter and they can be clearly seen in the darkest Months between 10 pm and midnight.

Scotland–September –April – click here for detailed information 

You can see northern light Scotland in places like Shetland, Torridon and Assynt, Lewis and Harris, Oban, Loch Lomond, Lochaber, Edinburgh and much more. The winter and autumn (September to April) are the best time of the year to see the aurora here. At this time of the year, the nights are the darkest.

Canada –September –April – click here for detailed information

Here the aurora can be seen in Yukon, Saskatchewan, the Mucho Lake Provincial Park, Fort McMurray in Alberta, Iqaluit in Nunavut, Yellowknife in Northwest Territories, Newfoundland, and Labrador. The winter months are also the best time to see the northern lights in Canada.

USA –September–March– click here for detailed information

In the USA the northern lights can be seen in Alaska (Anchorage and Fairbanks), Aroostook, Michigan, Cook County and much more. The northern lights can be seen here during the winter months between September and March. Generally, in the USA you can see the aurora between 11.30 p.m. to 3.30 a.m. The peak is by 1.30 a.m. In Alaska, you can see the aurora between 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. solar times.


Finally, you can know more about the northern lights cities, where and when to see the aurora by visiting some of the Northern lights forecast websites. In addition, by reading about the northern lights predictions.         



world northern lights


The northern lights which are a natural phenomenon that beautifies the sky and amazes the soul are one of the best attractions that people always wish to see in the world. The world northern lights occur in many parts of the world and of course, are predominantly seen at high latitudes which are the Antarctic and Arctic regions. Most of the northern lights occur in the aurora zone which is typically 3° to 6° wide in latitude and between 10° and 20° from the geomagnetic poles at all local times. This phenomenon can only be seen clearly when the skies are clear when there is no light pollution, and when the nights are dark. They occur in various colors which are blue, green, red, ultraviolet, infrared, pink and yellow.

Knowing all these things mentioned about the northern lights, it is also good to know about the different places where you can see the northern lights in the world.

Countries where you can see the world northern lights

  1. Norway

This Scandinavian country which is encompassed by glacial, mountains and deep coastal fjords is a good place to see the aurora. You can get more information on the northern lights Norway.

  1. Sweden

It is also a Scandinavian country in northern Europe. It borders Finland to the east and Norway to the west. Similarly, you can also have the fun of seeing the northern lights here. Northern lights Sweden

  1. Iceland

This young geological land is a Nordic Island country in the North Atlantic Ocean. You can also enjoy seeing the northern lights Iceland here.

  1. Finland

Finland is a sovereign state in Northern Europe. It has thousands of lakes and islands. It also offers an opportunity for you to see the northern lights in Finland.

  1. Ireland

It is an Island in the North Atlantic where you can get unspoiled natural beauties of the world northern lights.  Check out the northern lights Ireland.

  1. UK

No doubt, the United Kingdom which is also called the Great Britain is also a place that offers the beauty of the northern lights. Check out the northern lights UK for more information.

  1. Scotland

In addition, this northernmost country in the United Kingdom can make you enjoy your holiday because it also offers you the opportunity to see the world northern lights. You can get more information from the northern lights Scotland.

  1. Canada

Furthermore, this second largest country on earth is also one of the best places to view the northern lights. You can know more about this place by reading the northern lights Canada.

  1. USA

Finally, the United States of America is one of the beautiful places in the world where you can enjoy a moment of your life. It is a country that also offers you the chance of seeing the astonishing northern lights USA.       

In conclusion, all the countries above has made it easy for aurora chasers to see the northern lights in the world without too much stress.

Northern Lights Prediction: Knowing When the Aurora Appears

Northern Lights Prediction: Knowing When the Aurora Appears

northern lights prediction

Strangely enough, the Northern Lights Prediction is hard to explain since so many processes need to happen in order to see the amazing lights.

This guide will help you know how to detect the Auroras.

The Solar Cycle

Every 11 years or so, the Sun starts another solar cycle. In the middle of the cycle, you can expect the most sunspots visible on the surface of the Sun, which means more Aurora activity during those years. As you can see in the following table, we have just passed the middle of the cycle which will be over by 2020.

Sun Solar Cycle Chart
Sun Solar Cycle Chart

Even though the best time to see the Northern Lights in this decade has passed, they still can be seen. The best time to observe them can be determined by the amount and size of sunspots on the Sun – the more and bigger they are, the more intense the Northern Lights would be.

How is the northern lights prediction aided by the sunspot?

The images below show the amount of spots on the sun currently.

Recognising the spots is helpful for the northern lights prediction. The Sun rotates around its axis once every 27-28 days as seen from the Earth. Because of this rotation, sunspots, are like a massive firehose releasing energy into space. This can be lasting for several months in a row.

If you have observed an active Aurora night, in 27-28 days you would probably be able to see the lights again. If that same sunspot is still active, it would have rotated around with the Sun. It would be in geo-effective position again – facing the Earth, and spreading the Lights.


SOHO EIT 195 Latest Image
SOHO EIT 195 – Updated Sun View
SOHO EIT 284 Latest Image
SOHO EIT 284 – Updated Sun View
Sun spots are visible if you block the sun
Blocked Sun – Updated View

What Time of the Night?

No doubt, the peak hours are between 11pm and 2am, however, anytime it’s dark enough, there is hope.

What Months of The Year?

Actually, the Aurora Borealis season in northern polar latitudes (Alaska, northern Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Siberia) runs from August-thru-April. In this period the nights are actually dark, unlike the rest of the year. During the summer months of May, June and July,  Auroras can be spotted only south of 50° latitude.

The equinox months of September and March are best for Aurora activity. Also, winter months of October-thru-February can also be good.

Cool Northern Lights?

Contrary to the most common belief of people, when talking about the northern lights prediction, it is not necessary to be cold to see the Aurora. What really matters is the place to be dark, clear and in the northern part of the globe.

Map of areas you can see the northern light
Map of areas you can see the northern light

Furthermore, if you are interested in the northern lights prediction and you feel like predicting or want to predict your chance of seeing the Northern Lights,  you can use this table to read correctly the SPACE WEATHER PREDICTION CENTER report.

If the ap is over 35, and the kp is over 4, there is a chance to see the magical lights. The higher the numbers are, the better the chance to see them is. The highest ap is 400, and kp – 9.

27-day Space Weather Outlook Table
Quiet: 0 ≤ Ap < 10 usually no Kp indices > 2  
Unsettled: 10 ≤ Ap < 20 usually no Kp indices > 3  
Active: 20 ≤ Ap < 35 a few Kp indices of 4 
Minor Storm: 35 ≤ Ap < 60 Kp indices mostly 4 and 5 
Moderate Storm: 60 ≤ Ap < 100 some Kp indices of 6 
Strong Storm: 100 ≤ Ap < 160 some Kp indices of 7 
Severe Storm: 160 ≤ Ap < 310 some Kp indices of 8 and 9
Extreme Storm: 310 ≤ Ap some Kp indices of 9

Current Storm Status:           Current Storm Status

Current Solar X-ray Status: Solar X Ray Status

When the statuses above are green there is no possibility of seeing the Lights. In case they are yellow, there is some chance. The best is when they are red – it’s celebration time!

Want to check if the sky are clear tonight?

US Satellite Animation Map

Western Europe Satellite Animation Map

The 8 Northern Lights Facts: answering the aurora questions

The 8 Northern Lights Facts: answering the aurora questions

Northern Lights Facts
The Aurora Borealis Facts


You will find answers to a lot of your Northern Lights questions in this northern lights facts section.

You can read the facts and find answers to questions. Such as what are the Northern Lights? What Causes the Northern Lights?

The 8 northern lights facts you should know

  • The Northern Lights, which are a type of Aurora, often called a Polar Light, is all natural and seen in the sky. Usually seen in high-latitude areas, they are produced when a solar wind disturbs the magnetosphere, changing the trajectories of the charged particles found in magnetospheric plasma and solar wind, causing them to go up into the upper atmosphere. When this occurs, they emit a light of different complexities and colors.
  • As part of the northern lights facts, the Aurora Borealis are named after the Roman goddess of the dawn, and Boreas, which is the Greek name Galileo used for the north wind.
  • Polar Lights are also seen in the southern latitudes and known as the Aurora Australis, often referred to as the Southern Lights. Scientists have found that Aurora occurs on other planets as well.
  • First, you have to take a look at the sun, the yellow star that is at the very center of the solar system. As the sun rotates on its axis, the different magnetic fields of it twist and distort. When these fields are knotted together, then they can burst, and then create sunspots. In some cases, these sunspots may be several times the Earth’s diameter in size. The center of the sun reaches 27 million degrees F. As the surface temperature falls and rises, it bubbles and boils. From the sunspot regions on the sun’s surface, particles escape and plasma particles are hurtled into space. This is known as a solar wind.
  • Another aspect of the northern lights facts is that the Solar wind takes about 40 hours to get to the earth. Once it arrives, it has the ability to create the dramatic Northern lights.
  • The colors associated with the Northern lights are generally yellow, violet, pink, blue, and green. In some cases, white and orange. When particles collide with nitrogen, green and yellow colors are produced. Interactions with oxygen result in violet, blue, and red. The specific type of collision that occurs can also change the colors that are seen in the sky. Molecular nitrogen creates purple, while blue displays are caused by atomic nitrogen. Altitude also affects the colors. Violet and purple show up above 60 miles, blue – at altitudes of up to 60 miles, red – above 150 miles, and green – in 150 miles or below.
  • Radiation, magnetic waves and debris constantly bombard the Earth. In most cases, the magnetic field of our planet does a great job at deflecting these particles and rays. It also include those ones that are discharged from the sun. When particles are discharged from the sun, they travel approximately 93 million miles before they drawn to the magnetic poles of the Earth. Once there, they mingle with molecules and atoms of nitrogen, oxygen, and various other elements, which results in the amazing display of the Northern lights.
  • The Northern Lights are visible from space. You can best view it from the International Space Station (added photo).

The 8 northern lights facts can not be despised or overlooked. It helps you in knowing more about the amazing Aurora.

Dancing northern lights (aurora borealis)

Dancing northern lights (aurora borealis)

dancing northern lights
The dancing northern Lights


The auroras are one of the great wonders of the world produced solely by Mother Nature. Also known as the aurora borealis, it is a beautiful, natural light show that occurs in the atmosphere near the magnetic poles of the Earth. The dancing northern lights appear as a mesmerizing display of colors shifting and changing in the sky. You can only see the northern lights at nights when the sky is very clear. Here we’ll talk about what the auroras are, what causes them, and how you can find out where and when you can see them for yourself.

The aurora has been spectacular to humans for centuries, often appearing as an important part of the legends and myths of aboriginal peoples who lived in the north and south. The Northern Lights is one of the two most common names for the occurrence and the second name is ‘Aurora Borealis’. Of course, there is also a southern counterpart to the lights, called ‘Aurora Australis’. This name, quite predictably, comes from the latin for ‘southern lights’.

The science behind the dancing northern lights

So, let’s dive into the science behind these breathtaking arrays of light. The dancing Northern Lights are caused by gas particles in the atmosphere colliding into particles released by the sun. Basically, as protons and electrons from the sun move towards our planet, and as these heated particles enter our atmosphere, which is weaker nearest the magnetic poles, they smash into gas molecules. Then they emit gorgeous light hundreds of kilometers above the surface of the Earth. These little explosions from the collisions produce a beautiful show for us down here on the ground. This can be seen far in the sky. Different gas particles result in different colours. For example, nitrogen particles produce a bluish hue in the lights. Actually, other gasses create varying shades of red, yellow, purple, and green in an absolutely incredible display.

Because the atmosphere is weaker further in the far north and south of the atmosphere, these collisions only occur far in the northern and southern hemispheres. This means that you can almost exclusively see the lights in countries closest to the poles. Countries like Russia, Australia, Greenland, and Canada. Weather takes a role in our ability to view auroras. We obviously are unable to view them when clouds get in the way. Unfortunately, our own behavior affects the viewing experience too. Those who live near cities don’t often see the lights. This is due to the pollution produced nearby, much like how stars at night can almost never be seen in many cities. Sightseeing of the auroras is best from a rural area on a very clear night.

If you want the forecast for the close time don’t miss our post about Northern Lights Prediction.

You can get websites online that will tell you where the Aurora can be seen and on what nights if you want to enjoy this wonder yourself. Here are three sites that will give you a nice aurora alert to make sure you don’t miss the showing:

These sites are great tools for when you really just can’t bear to miss the next light show (although, if you live in northern Canada like I do, it’s often just a question of looking outside the window in the evening to know if there are any auroras nearby.)

Our world doesn’t offer much more attractive vistas than that of the Northern Lights in a clear sky. There aren’t many displays of beauty to be found, neither manmade nor natural, that compares to the beauty of the aurora. It serves as a beautiful display of what wonders our planet can create. It has captured the imaginations of many peoples throughout history. You should see the northern lights at least once in your lifetime, and they deserve to be admired in awe.