Aurora borealis is a jaw-dropping and mystical moment. These are also known as Northern Lights. An aurora is a natural light display in the sky particularly in the high latitude (Arctic andAntarctic) regions, caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere. So when, where and how to see Aurora?
When to see the aurora borealis, Best time !!
The lights are at their most frequent in late autumn and winter/early
spring. Between the autumn equinox and spring equinox (21 September – 21 March), it is dark between 6 pm and 1 am, and you have maximum chances of spotting the lights. However, the weather is also of importance, and September, October and November tend to be wet and snowless in the north.
From December the weather dries up, and there is normally plenty of snow. If you come in December or January, you experience the polar nights with atmospheric evenings and very short days.
In February and March the days are longer and you see more of the snow-clad landscapes during daytime, and the evenings still offer maximum chances to spot the northern lights.
No guarantee can be given, though. Some weeks, you are treated to fantastic displays, repeated several times during the evening. Other times, the snow falls densely, or the northern lights simply stay away. Naturally, the longer you stay and the more time you set aside, the better the odds.
Where to see the aurora borealis
Theoretically, you can see the aurora all over Alaska and Norway. However, the best places are above the Arctic Circle in Northern Norway.
The northern lights belt hits Northern Norway in the Lofoten Islands, and follows the coast all the way up to the North Cape. This means that no other place on earth offers better chances of spotting the lights, and one location in this area might be as good as another. In fact, one often observes the same northern lights in the Lofoten as in Tromsø, just from a different angle. The driest weather, giving clear skies, is found inland, statistically providing the best chances, but with strong eastern winds, the coast can be clearer than inland areas.
In order to get full value from the show you should avoid the full moon and places with a lot of light as they make the experience considerably paler. Also remember to wrap up warmly.
How to see the aurora borealis, The Nothern Lights
When dreaming about seeing the aurora lights, you must remember that you are at the complete mercy of nature.
The aurora lights love to play hide and seek. Observing the aurora borealis is often a tug of war between your patience and the aurora itself. Stay in the northern lights area at least a week, preferably two, and you will be rewarded – unless local weather suddenly decides to obstruct your view with clouds.
A rainbow at night
Each appearance of the northern lights is unique. Often you see three green bands across the night sky. Or the lights come as flickering curtains orrolling smoke. The colour is a luminous green, often with a hint of pink along the edge, and occasionally with a deep violet centre. The colour palette seems to come from the 1980s.
If there is a lot of activity up there, the northern lights explode for a minute or two in a corona. The next minute it is all over, and you ask yourself whether this was real or just an Arctic fata morgana.
Reality, if not as poetic, is equally impressive. It is the sun that lies behind the formation of the auroras. During large solar explosions and flares, huge quantities of particles are thrown out of the sun and into deep space.
When the particles meet the Earth’s magnetic shield, they are led towards a circle around the magnetic North Pole, where they interact with the upper layers of the atmosphere. The energy which is then released is the northern lights. All this happens approximatelty 100 kilometres above our heads.
Tags: Aurora, Aurora Borealis, aurora lights, Best time, How to see the aurora, nature, North Pole, Northern Lights, Nothern Lights, Rainbow in Night, When to see the aurora borealis, Where to see the aurora borealis
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