10 Facts About the Northern Lights – Aurora borealis

The Aurora Borealis, more commonly referred to as the Northern Lights, is one of nature’s most stunning phenomena. These lights are caused by a collision between electrically charged particles from the sun and atoms in the Earth’s atmosphere. The result is a beautiful display of light that can be seen in many parts of the world.

Facts about the Aurora Borealis that you may not have known

1. The Aurora Borealis is most commonly seen in the Arctic regions, including countries like Norway, Finland, and Canada. However, these lights can also be spotted in other parts of the world, including Scotland, Iceland, and even the United States.

2. The best time of year to see the Aurora Borealis is typical during the peak of the solar cycle, which occurs every 11 years. However, the Aurora Borealis also occurs during the months leading up to and following the peak of the solar cycle typically visible in the night sky from September to April. The best time of night to see the Aurora Borealis is typically from 10 pm to 2 am.

3. The Aurora Borealis appears in many different colors, including green, pink, purple, and red. The most common Aurora Borealis color is green, caused by oxygen atoms high up in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Aurora Borealis

4. The Aurora Borealis is a frequent feature in Norse mythology, appearing as a sign of coming danger or good fortune. In some stories, the northern lights are said to be the breath of the Dragons that live beneath the earth. In others, they are the spirits of lost warriors, streaming up to Valhalla.


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5. For centuries, these ethereal light displays have been the subject of many legends and folklore. In China, for example, the dragon is a much-loved mythical creature. According to legend, the dragon is responsible for causing the rain to fall and the rivers to flow. It is also said that when the dragon sleeps, its tail creates the northern lights.

6. The lights are usually only visible when it is dark, but they can occur at any time of day or night. The best time to see the northern lights is during the winter months when the nights are longer and the air is colder.

7. On a cold January night in 1892, German physicist and astronomer Otto Rudolf Martin Brendel pointed his camera towards the sky and captured the first known photograph of the aurora borealis. The black-and-white photo, which was taken in Tromsø, Norway, was published in ‘The Century’ magazine in October 1897.

martin-brendel-aurora-photo
The first known photo of the northern lights was taken in 1892. Photo: Alta Museum

8. While the northern lights can be seen in other parts of the world, Norway is one of the best places to see them. In fact, tourism related to the northern lights is big business for Norway. Every year, businesses catering to northern lights tourism generate millions of dollars in revenue.

9. Norway is a country with a rich history and culture, and its architecture is no exception. One of the most unique buildings in Norway is the Cathedral Of The Northern Lights, which was inspired by the northern lights. The cathedral is located in the town of Alta in Troms og Finnmark county, which is situated above the Arctic Circle. The building was designed by Swedish architect  LINK arkitektur, and it was completed in 2013. The cathedral is made up of a series of glass panels that reflect the light of the northern lights, creating a truly stunning effect.

Cathedral Of The Northern Lights

10. Northern lights are not exclusive to our planet. In fact, they can be found on a number of other worlds in our solar system. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune all have Auroras. Even Mars has a faint aurora near its south pole. Each planet’s aurora is unique, shaped by the effects of its magnetic field and atmospheric composition.

The Aurora Borealis is a truly amazing natural phenomenon. If you’re lucky enough to see them, you’ll be treated to a stunning display of light that is sure to leave you mesmerized.

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