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What exactly are the northern lights?

What exactly are the northern lights?

The northern lights, one of several astronomical phenomena called polar lights (aurora polaris), are shafts or curtains of colored light visible on occasion in the night sky. Northern lights are also called by their scientific name, aurora borealis, and southern lights are called aurora australis.

What northern lights are caused by?

The Northern Lights are actually the result of collisions between gaseous particles in the Earth’s atmosphere with charged particles released from the sun’s atmosphere. Variations in colour are due to the type of gas particles that are colliding.

How northern lights are formed?

As solar wind approaches the Earth, it meets the Earth’s magnetic field. In the ionosphere, the ions of the solar wind collide with atoms of oxygen and nitrogen from the Earth’s atmosphere. The energy released during these collisions causes a colorful glowing halo around the poles—an aurora.

What happens if you touch the northern lights?

The aurora is emitted between 90 and 150 km in altitude (i.e. mostly above the ‘official’ boundary of space, 100 km), so ungloving your hand inside an aurora would likely be fatal (unless a fellow astronaut immediately reattaches your glove and repressurizes your suit).

How long do the northern lights last?

The Northern Lights most commonly appear between 5:00 pm and 2:00 am. They don’t usually exhibit for long – they may only show for a few minutes, then glide away before returning. A good display may last for no longer than 15-30 minutes at a time, although if you’re really lucky, they could last for a few hours.

Which country has Northern Lights?

The Auroral band stretches across Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Greenland and Canada. We feature holidays to all of these countries, and every holiday we offer has been expertly designed to maximise your opportunity to see the Northern Lights.

When is the best time to see the Northern Lights?

Generally, the best time to see the Northern Lights is between September and April when the long hours of darkness mean plenty of opportunity for seeing the aurora . The Northern Lights occur throughout the year.

What are the Northern Lights really look like?

The northern lights often appear as green or yellow in colour, but other colours like violet, blue, pink, orange and even white can also be seen.

What is the best view of the Northern Lights?

The best time of day for viewing the northern lights is between the evening and morning civil twilights (when the sun is 6 degrees below the horizon) on a clear or partly cloudy night.

Which town is best for the Northern Lights?

Alaska. Alaska is easily the best place to see the Northern Lights in the U.S.

  • another good spot for admiring the Lights.
  • Alberta.
  • Scotland.
  • Iceland.