NORTHERN LIGHTS : EVERYTHING YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT AURORA BOREALIS

What causes Northern Lights?

Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis is a natural phenomenon that usually occurs near the north pole (although it can be observed near the south pole too). It is a phenomenon which occurs when the earth's magnetic field interacts with the charged particles from the sun. Scientifically speaking, Auroras are produced when the sun's charged particles hit the earth's atmosphere, causing the atoms to move to a higher energy state. Light is produced when these electrons fall back to a lower energy state. (In other words - Magic!)

The best places to see the northern lights?

Auroras(Northern Lights) are observed in both the northern as well as southern hemisphere, the one in the northern hemisphere is called Aurora Borealis while the one in the southern hemisphere is called Aurora Australis. The best places to view the northern lights are the countries of Iceland, Norway, and Finland

Northern Lights in Finland.

In the Lapland region of Finland, one can observe the Northern Lights for roughly 200 nights a year depending on it being a clear night or not. Lapland, Finland has hotels made specifically to observe the Northern Lights in a cosy environment. The most famous of the lot are the Glass Igloos on the arctic circle in Rovaniemi where you can sleep in the middle of the wild and still have all the comforts of home.

Book your Northern Lights Trip to Finland.

Northern Lights in Norway.

The city of Alta in Norway is well known for its Northern Lights all around Norway. The city feels like a town of the Gods where a huge feast is being conducted. There are many Northern Light Safaris conducted for those who prefer viewing the Lights up close. The natural beauty of the Norwegian landscapes and the northern lights together is the true version of heaven on earth.

Book your Northern Lights Trip to Norway.

Northern Lights in Iceland.

Witness the Northern Lights above the Arctic ocean in Iceland. Even though the lights are visible from the capital city of Reykjavik one should take a trip a few miles outside the city to witness the light much clearly. When you're flying in or out of Keflavik International Airport be sure to look out the plane window if it's dark outside, as you can sometimes see the lights from a different angle. It will surely be a sight worth viewing.

Book your Northern Lights Trip to Iceland.

The Best Time to Visit Northern Lights?

One can view the Lights during 8 months of the year. Although, to have the experience of a lifetime one should go between the months of December and March as during this time of the year the sun is up in the sky for 3-4 hours daily making the rest of the day remain in darkness and the beauty of the lights.

Once a in a lifetime Experience

The sound of Light

The northern lights are more than just dazzling light shows. According to a new study, the lights generate their own strange applause too. The same energetic particles that create the lights also produce the strange "clapping" noises approximately 70 metres from the ground.

The Aurora sounds are not as frequent and are quite faint to hear. One should pay attention in an extremely quiet place with high altitude. Scientists don't know how such sounds are created yet. These sounds range from cracking to clapping sounds.

Look through the telescope.

Auroras are not only unique to Earth. They can be seen on several other planets in our solar system. It has also observed on several moons of some planets. For example, the moon Ganymede and Europa of Jupiter have their own specific blueish aurora. The northern lights observed on Saturn are bigger than the entire planet of Earth. Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus, and Mars also have Auroras near their poles because of their gaseous atmosphere. Many astronomers have observed Auroras outside of the Solar System as well.

A Spectrum.

The colours usually observed on the aurora borealis are pink, green, yellow, blue, violet, and occasionally orange and white. Typically, when the particles collide with oxygen, yellow and green are produced. Interactions with nitrogen produce red, violet, and occasionally blue colours.

Is that God?

It is a display of lights so beautifully magnificent, that many cultures all the way from Persia to the Vikings and from the Chinese to the Eskimos believed the lights to be a God, Spirits, Animals, and as an Omen. The northern lights have played a big role in many myths around Eurasia as well as have been mentioned in many Native American tales.

What's in a name?

To begin with let's talk about the Gods it is so named after, the Roman goddess of dawn, 'Aurora' and the god of the northern wind, 'Boreas'. Aurora, the sister of Helios/Sol (the sun) and Selene/Luna (the moon) is said to renew herself every morning and fly across the sky, announcing the arrival of the sun. Aurora gave birth to four sons Boreas, Zephyrus, Notus, and Eurus who became the gods of the four winds, also known as Anemoi. Boreas, the eldest was the most powerful of the four and was worshipped throughout Athens and later in Rome. You can observe a mosaic of the God in the Sistine Chapel in Rome. Ruins of statues of the God has been found all the way in Afghanistan. The name itself means Dawn from the North.

The Halls of Gods, Dragons and a Psychopathic Walrus.

Eskimos and Native Americans had multiple interpretations as each tribe had different myths. The Point Barrow Eskimos considered it to be evil and kept knives to keep it away. The Fox Indian considered it an omen of war. The Salteaus Indians believed it to be dancing spirits of animals. The most intriguing tale is that of the Eskimos on Nunivak Island who believe that the northern lights were the spirits of walruses playing with a human skull. According to an Algonquin myth, when Nanabozho (the creator of the Earth) had finished his task of the creation, he moved to the north. He had built large fires and the northern lights are the reflections of these fires, as a reminder to his people that he still thinks of them.

Historians have said that in Chinese legends about dragons may have been inspired from northern lights through a study of patterns of sun and events occurred throughout history. One chinese legends says it to be a battle between dragons representing the good and evil. It  was considered as a rare event as only an extremely significant solar event must've occurred to illuminate the sky so down south.

In Japan, they believe that conceiving a child underneath the Northern Lights would bless the child with good looks, intellect, and good fortune. People in South-East Asia are remarkably fascinated by the Northern lights. It has been observed that tourism from these countries to the Northern nations has significantly increased in recent times.

The Finnish believed that the lights are caused by the magical fox who sweeps his tail across the snow and sprays it up into the sky.

Fun Fact: The Human Eye cannot process the red light in the Northern lights whereas as a Camera can. Hence, on off days even when the lights are dim to the naked eye, the selfie which you click would look just perfect.