The Northern Lights
The Northern Lights, or the Aurora Borealis, is a spectacular natural phenomenon that amazes even the most critical viewer.
How does it happen?
When the solar winds meets the atmosphere around the magnetic north pole, the phenomenon known as Aurora Borealis is created. When this meeting occurs waves, arches and curls of light move across the sky, and sudden rays of light shoot down from space.
The southern hemisphere has its own version of the northern lights called the aurora australis, or the southern lights. The northern lights can only be seen in certain areas and the display of light varies in intensity, color and movement.
When is the best time to see it?
The time period we call magnetic midnight, is usually the best period to see the northern lights. It usually occurs some hours before midnight and is when the viewer, the North Pole and the sun are in alignment.
The northern lights can be seen from as early as September to the end of March.
Myths and supersititions
- Soldiers in medieval Europe thought that a red aurora borealis ment the outbreak of war
- The Finnish word "revontulet" (in English: "fox fires"), comes from the old belief that foxes running over the tundra wag their furry tails and emit sparks on the sky
- In Finnmark, Norway, people believed that if a child was conceived during the northern lights it would gain special abilities
- In Sami mythology, it is considered bad luck to whistle at the northern lights. It is also believed that if you wave at the lights, they'll take you away
- In ancient China, people believed the northern lights were a dragons fiery breath flashing across the sky
How do I get to see it?
A Northern Ligths is amazing sight to behold, and you can experience the view on our Northern Lights & Norway in a nutshell® tour.
If you want to check out a Northern Lights forecast visit the Aurora Forecast here!