The Northern Lights

Ever since I was a little girl, I have been obsessed with the Northern Lights Aap known as Aurora Borealis. I had seen the pictures and read about it in the books, and I couldn’t wait to experience this in person. As I grew older, the desire to see the Northern Lights just grew stronger. However, I did not want to go to the most Northern parts of Alaska as I thought that’s the only way I can experience this. So, I started researching all the places you can go to view this phenomenon and I wanted to share it with you guys here. But before we get to that, let’s talk about what is Aurora Borealis.

What are Northern Lights?

According to the Northern Lights Center, the bright lights of the Aurora are actually collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere. The lights are seen above the magnetic poles of the Northern and Southern hemispheres. They are known as ‘Aurora Borealis’ in the north and ‘Aurora australis’ in the south.

These lights appear in many colors; however, pale green and the pink are the most common. Other colors that have been reported are different shades of red, yellow, green, blue, red and violet.

What causes the Northern Lights?

According to the Northern Lights Centre, 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. The most common auroral color, a pale yellowish-green, is produced by oxygen molecules located about 60 miles above the earth. Rare, all-red auroras are produced by high-altitude oxygen, at heights of up to 200 miles. Nitrogen produces blue or purplish-red aurora.

Where can you experience these?

As mentioned before, I always thought you could only experience this phenomenon in Alaska, but I was excited to find out that you can go to multiple places (listed below) to enjoy this breathtaking view. I will do additional posts with details on where you can go and what you need to do to appreciate the Northern Lights in each of these places, and link these posts to this article.

1) Swalbard, Norway

2) Kakslauttanen, Finland

3) Jukkasjärvi, Sweden

4) Fairbanks, Alaska

5) Jokulsarlon, Iceland

6) Cairngorms National Park, Scotland

7) Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

8) Yellowknife, Canada

9) Tromsø, Norway

10) Abisko, Sweden

11) Unstad, Lofoten, Norway

12) Paatsjoki, Finnish Lapland

Stay tuned for additional articles on each of these places! Please leave comments on when you became obsessed with the Northern Lights, and whether or not you had the chance to experience this wonderful phenomenon. 🙂

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