The Northern Lights – What are they?

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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