If you’re fascinated about the amazing things in the world, one of the things you must see is Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis. It’s truly a spectacular phenomena of our mother nature. I’m fortunate enough to see this once, and it was such a pleasing sight to the eyes. I was lost in the beautiful shimmering sky. Some Inuit believed that the spirits of their ancestors could be seen dancing in the flickering lights. In Norse mythology the aurora was known as a fire bridge to the sky built by the Gods. However, science tells us that the aurora happens because of the sun. I remember wondering what causes the Northern Lights. So for anyone who is interested in finding out more facts about Northern Lights including best places to see Auroras, read on.
Northern Lights Facts
What Causes The Northern Lights?
When I saw this beautiful and colorful marvel in the sky, my mind kept asking what causes Aurora Borealis. It’s not a bridge to an amazing world as I want it to be. There’s of course a scientific explanation. Our sun’s magnetic field throws charged particles from its atmosphere out into the space. As these particles reach close to the Earth, they are pulled in by its magnetic field, which pulls them down to the magnetic poles. Before they reach our planet, the charged particles hit the Earth’s atmosphere and collide with the gases found. The reaction between these particles and the gases create energy. This energy is given off as light, which is called the Northern Lights. Science says the different gases in Earth’s atmosphere give off different colors when they are excited. The colors most often associated with the Northern Lights are red (hydrogen), green (oxygen), blue (nitrogen) and occasionally orange and white. When the particles collide with oxygen, yellow and green are produced. Interactions with nitrogen produce red, violet, and occasionally blue colors.
What Are The Best Places To See Northern Lights?
You can’t see Aurora Borealis from anywhere in the world unfortunately. There are select few places where you can see this amazing nature’s wonder. The lights are usually seen in the far north. Some of the best places to see Northern Lights border the Arctic Ocean – Canada and Alaska, Scandinavian countries, Iceland, Greenland and Russia. Strong displays of the lights can extend down into more southerly latitudes in the United States. However, the best place to see the Northern Lights is the Arctic Circle. These places draw serious ‘aurora-seekers’ because of their consistently clear skies and the brightness of the lights. Your chances are good, if you’re at one of the mentioned places, even if you can’t make it as far as the Arctic Circle.
What Is The Best Time To See Northern Lights?
September, October, March and April are some of the best months to view the Aurora Borealis. The lights are known to be brighter and more active for up to two days after sunspot activity is at its highest. Scientists hypothesize the winter of 2012-2013 is expected to bring near-peak viewing conditions. NASA scientists have predicted the current period of solar maximum activity will reach a new peak in December. Travelers to the far north will be treated with the best possible conditions for seeing Northern Lights. If you have been keeping an eye out for Aurora Borealis forecast for winter holiday destinations, this year is a good year. Make sure you check the Northern Lights forecast before booking your holidays.
How About Taking A Northern Lights Cruise?
If you’re seriously thinking about seeing this beautiful sky even at one of the best places to see Northern Lights, then taking a Northern Lights cruise is one of the best ways to enjoy it. Each of the hotspot destinations will offer some wonderful cruise options. You will find several major cruise lines introducing extra voyages this winter to some of the top Northern Lights destinations. It’s a great time to book that Alaska cruise trip you wanted. Also read the earlier post – last minute cruise deals to get a great deal to see the Aurora.