Aurora borealis – general information


The earth’s sky during the night is usually black with just little twinkling stars, bright planets and Mr. moon that compliments the night. Some can only see a huge display of colors and lights with the help of fireworks being jetted up in the black blanket of darkness on special occasions. Others, however, have a show with beautiful colors sometimes every night, during witner. Did you know that in the cold Arctic to the North and Antarctic of the South, nature has its own way of displaying its very own blast of colors? It´s magical, adventurous and breathtaking! This is called Aurora Borealis in the Arctic and Aurora Australis in the Antarctic or is commonly known as the Northern and Southern lights. It is so spectacular that no man-made fireworks can ever beat it. Plus you don’t have to protect your nose from the different ingredients and chemicals used in making aerial fireworks, or to cover your ears from the blasting sound of the fireworks as they were being fired up in the sky. The natural display of lights and the spectacular show is free as well as more amazing than any fireworks in the world.

How are the Northern lights created?


How does our planet Earth make its very own stage show of lights and colors? The sun plays a big part of this beauty. The sun constantly lets out the excess gas. A simple explanation and example is when you drink a glass of sodas, colas or root beers. When it reaches your stomach it bubbles out gas that makes you burp. Same with the sun, it belches out excess gas called the Solar Wind that hits the Earth’s invisible shield because of the force from the Sun’s hot surface called the Solar flares. Solar flares make the solar wind brighter. Don’t worry about us being burnt because Earth is wonderfully made with protective layers called the Magnetosphere. It traps the particles from the Solar Wind and when it bursts out freely through the Earth’s atmosphere, that is when the magical display of lights and colors happen.

Why can it only be seen in the North and South Pole of the Earth


Why can it only be seen in the North and South Pole of the Earth? Because the particles follow a magnetic line down reaching the highest part of Earth. It’s a ball that bounces up and down in a box that when each side where freed either up or down goes the ball. The particles aren’t just one ball but there are several of them so some will be bounced in the Northern part and some in the Southern part and reaches the atmosphere where nitrogen and oxygen is present and when collided with each other, it emits bright and colorful display of light where it is visible in the sky. Different lights for different types of ions that the particles, nitrogen and oxygen collision results to. Greenish and Brownish lights are a result of oxygen and particles while bluish and reddish color is the result of nitrogen and particles.

Don´t forget to look up in the sky


Not only does the Earth experience this kind of exhibit. Almost all of the planets do experience this and when you look at NASA’s strongest telescope, you will notice different colors in their surface as well. So the next time you visit the most Northern part and the most Southern part countries, then don’t forget to look up in the sky. Check on the schedule where they are visible but they are usually the brightest during November,where it is the most intense stage of the solar cycle, Sun belch out more gases at this point. Iceland offers special trips during these periods where Northern lights are the most visible. However, you can expect to see the Norhtern ligths from September to March/April. The locals would be glad to take you to the best spot to watch the sky’s spectacular show of bursting lights and wonderful colors. You can do guided bus tours, private tours, self drive tours or go for a short drive just outside the city and enjoy the show of nature. You can also often just go out for a walk in Reykjavík to experience the magic. It is truly amazing!