The Northern Lights are one of the most famous seven natural wonders of the world. The northern lights are breathtaking dancing lights that naturally appear in the skies of northern and southern atmosphere. The lights are called 'Aurora Borealis' in the northern atmosphere meaning “dawn of the north” and 'Aurora Australis' in the southern atmosphere meaning “dawn of the south”. The northern lights and the southern lights occur at the same time which makes them almost mirror like images of one another. The lights can be seen in different colours such as red, yellow, blue, green and violet; however light green and pink are the most common ones. The appearance of the lights varies from bands, curtains, rolling smokes to clouds, patches, rays and arcs.
Although the lights displays in both northern and southern atmosphere, they are more visible in the north than the south because the lights in the southern parts are concentrated in a ring around the Antarctica and the southern Indian Ocean. The best place to view the northern lights is in the northwestern parts of Canada, Sweden and Finland, northern coast of Norway and the northern coast Serbia. The lights are from 80 km to 640 km above the earth’s surface.
The Auroras are actually the energy released when the electrically charged particles released from the sun collide with the gaseous particles in the atmosphere. The sun’s atmosphere throws free electrons and protons towards the earth through the magnetic field by the solar wind. When some particles escaped from the weaker poles of the magnetic field, collisions between the charged particles and gas particles occur, resulting the dancing lights in the sky.
The differentiation of the colours is due to the gas particles they are meeting. For example, collusion with oxygen produces green and red lights and nitrogen produces blue and violet lights. The lights seem to be dancing because the electric forces react constantly with one another in various combinations.
At the northern lights, there are many things to see apart from the auroras such as the natural environment, Ice Mountains, reindeers, husky dogs and Igloos. In Northern Norway, there are Hurtigruten's ships which allow the visitors to view the light displays in comfort at the sea. In the Lofoten Islands of Norway, there is a Polarlightcenter which offers spectacular presentations, information, courses and exhibitions of the northern lights. In Finland where the northern lights are seen, there is a lake called Yllasjarvi and people can try out ice floating on the icy waters of the lake. In many other parts where the lights are displayed, there are similar offers such as husky dogs or reindeer rides and ice skating.
Before going to the Northern lights, visitors should understand that patience and time is needed as the lights appear any time and disappear constantly. It is the best to spend about at least a week at the northern lights in order to spot the fascinating lights as the...