The Northern Lights- Beautiful Aurora Borealis
A Fantastic Display of Energy and Light
Anybody who has seen the Aurora Borealis will never forget the experience. I still remember a cold night, 30 years ago, at around midnight. Suddenly the sky became aflame with colors. It was like the dome of a church, moving across the sky. The Northern Lights! Until today, I treasure that memory.
What are the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights? What causes that spectacular effect? Where is the best place to go if you want to see them? See some awe-inspiring picture of these lights.
Aurora = the Roman goddess of dawn
Borealis = the greek word for the north wind
What Are the Northern Lights?
Through the earth, there are magnetic fields, like poles. They go through the earth, like if giant rods were put through the earth. From there the magnetic field circulates outwards. This means that the magnetic field is the strongest at the south and north parts of the earth, less strong around the equator.
There is also a magnetic field around the sun. Particles (electrons and protons) are constantly slung towards the earth because of this magnetic field. This is called solar winds.
So when the particles from the solar wind are coming with enormous speed, hitting the magnetic field of the earth, they get pushed down to the earth's upper atmosphere, the ionosphere. Here, the electrons collide with gas atoms, causing a great release of energy and light! This is how the Aurora Borealis is born. (as a matter of facts, most planets have this kind of reaction around them.)
Read more about Aurora Borealis - Northern Lights Photos
Have you ever seen the Aurora Borealis?
Aurora Borealis Video - Northern Light
Aurora Borealis Wallpaper
iPhone Cover - Northern Lights Image
"The brilliant, glowing emission from the upper atmosphere over middle and high latitudes, and centred around the earth's magnetic poles."
Where Are the Northern Lights?
Where Can You See Aurora Borealis?
The best place to see auroras is where the magnetic mostly field is the strongest, which is by the poles. The lights can also be seen around the South Pole, called Aurora Australis, but since it is an isolated place, difficult to reach, nobody really sees them.
The other alternative is close to the NorthPole. Northern Greenland, the Scandinavian coast, Alaska- these are all places where you will be able to see the Aurora Borealis. The problem is that these places have 24 hours of sunlight during the summers, making it difficult to see the lights well. Northern Norway is one of the most popular places to go, because of its accessability.