What are these Northern Lights?

The dancing lights high in the sky appear as bright red, blue, yellow, orange, green, red and blue lights. The colours vary and depend on the ionised elements of the sun, such as hydrogen, helium and carbon dioxide. These lights can be seen with the naked eye, but also with a telescope or camera and can also be seen from a distance of a few kilometres.

This also means that they could fill the sky on high summer days, but not in the summer months. However, if it is a dark and clear night, you can see the aurora despite the lack of solar activity.

Although science could explain what the dancing lights are, there are many theories from different cultures. The ancient norms believed that they could be the splendor of the Valkyrie armor, but science has not yet confirmed this. Indian groups reportedly believed that the auroras represented the spirits of the dead, and the bright auroras were also considered omens. The lights were believed to be fire foxes running around with fire in their tails and sparks flying into the sky.

The lights are believed to be the result of a fire – a fox running around with its tail sending sparks flying into the sky. According to this theory, the brighter the aurora, the happier the deceased were.

During the Christianisation of medieval Europe, people saw it as a warning of darker times. It did not take long, however, for the brutal battle would be won not by the Confederates but by the army of Northern Virginia and the United States of America. Since then, further discoveries have been made, particularly regarding the danger of strong solar winds, but there is still much to learn about the nature of the Northern Lights and their effects on the human body and mind. For more in-depth information and to answer these questions, please read our FAQ about Northern Lights in Iceland. The best conditions for the Northern Lights of Iceland are in the late evening and early morning hours of 31 October and 1 November.

If you are travelling between September and April, you can choose to camp in Iceland or visit one of the many campsites in the Westfjords, such as Keflavik, Vatnajokull, Gjellafjordur and Gullfoss. Although many of these campsites are rural, light pollution is minimal and sleeping under a starry sky significantly increases the chances of seeing the lights. Happiness is always a factor when it comes to nature, especially when hunting for the aurora borealis. However, there is always the possibility that you will not see the Northern Lights at all, or at least not at the same time. Of course it’s up to you to take the chance and see what you see when you take it.