The Northern Lights – What are they?

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What are The Northern Lights?

Nature plays its own games. It surprises us in ways unimaginable. One such experience exists far beyond in the north, in the sub-zero temperatures of the Arctic Circle. The Northern Lights have seized human fascination for thousands of years. Now I don’t really have a bucket list of my own, but I have always wanted to experience this phenomenon for myself, absolutely first hand, which is why I headed about 217 miles north of the Arctic circle (Tromso – a quaint city in Norway, to be precise) to watch the enigmatic Auroras throw a dance pattern for me. The Aurora Boraelis is what these whimsical natural lights commonly known as.

The Northern Lights

Are you one of those who wanted to know more about the science of the Aurora? Well, back in school I was terrible with both science and geography (Don’t judge me!), but as I spotted the magnificent green curtains form across the sky, I couldn’t hold back the curiosity in my pretty-much-blown-out-mind. So I spent some time educating myself with the tour agents at Chasing lights and learnt all I could about nature’s most spectacular event – The Northern Lights.

The Northern Lights

The northern lights are natures very own spectacular light show. These dancing curtains of light sway with the wind right around the magnetic field of our Earth. They occur about thirty to forty hours after the sun tosses its particles in the earth’s magnetic field. These charged solar particles then collide with atoms of oxygen and nitrogen in the earth’s atmosphere, therefore releasing flashes of light better known as the Aurora. This happens somewhere between 20 miles to 200 miles above the earth.

There are approximately four different colors that the Aurora borealis creates. Each of these depends upon the type of atom collision and the altitude at which the collision happens. The color Blue occurs under 60 miles above the earth’s surface. The color purple shows visibility from over 60 miles above the earth. Ironically Green, the most common color seen actually occurs 100 miles above the earth’s surface while Red, the most distinguished and rarest of all colors appears over 150 miles above the Earth’s surface.

Northern lights will probably remain nature’s most magical, luxurious and distinguished experience ever. People have been chasing them for years now and years to come. I can run after them time and again. That is how enlightened I am with this nature’s activity. I am already making plans for my next Aurora adventure across the Arctic!

The Northern Lights

Have you seen the Northern Lights yet? Don’t you want to pack already?

I enjoyed writing this post. If there is anything you want to know about Aurora Borealis shoot up on the comments section below and I will get back ASAP! If you have an experience to share, send me the link and delight me with your adventure!

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About sakshi

I am Sakshi from India. Travel writer by profession, traveler by passion, bibliophile at heart and photographer by hobby, I possess an endless quest for newer travels and adventures. Hiking is my annual routine and some call me the mountain queen. Nature inspires me and travel motivates me to be better, write better, live better. I am a girl living in abundance, just a girl hunting for her boarding-pass!

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2 years ago

Smashing set of images you have and a really great article! ? I have been lucky enough to see the northern lights twice while I was living in jasper national Park in Canada. It totally blew my mind! It was such an amazing experience! Here in Ireland we sometimes get lucky and it can happen even as far down here. I tryy best to try catch it but it’s elusiveness has always gotten the better of me.

2 years ago

Well, I learned something new. Thanks! ? Unfortunately I have never seen northern lights, that must be an awesome experience.

2 years ago

Looks so incredible! Great photos. I’ve never been there but it’s definitely a dream of mine!

Lyza P
2 years ago

I want to see the Northern Lights too! They are so magical 🙂 I want to see them in all colors! I’ll brave the snow just for that!

2 years ago

What a dream trip it would be to see the Northern Lights! Such an amazing part of nature!

Jayashree Sengupta
2 years ago

Aurora always fascinated me… Lately the pictures of the transparent igloo came up in the net…. From then on, I am keeping it in my bucketlist

Alexander Popkov
Alexander Popkov
2 years ago

Oh nice. Good to see that you post about the Northern lights and nice to know that you have seen them. It is one of the most beautiful things on our planet.