The Northern Lights
Nature’s Own Fireworks
The Aurora Borealis is a phenomenon of nature that is frequently referred to as the Northern Lights. Auroras may be seen in certain areas of the southern and northern hemispheres, and they make an immensely appealing sight over Svalbard. This incredible display of lights provided by nature is a privilege to witness, an unforgettable spectacle that may linger in the mind long after one views it. Many who have witnessed the Aurora Borealis once have traveled hundreds – and perhaps thousands – of miles in order to do so again. If you are fortunate enough to see the Northern Lights for yourself, you will surely understand why this is.
What are the Northern Lights?
This remarkable feature of the natural world is known as an aurora, and it comprises electrically charged particles colliding with each other as they enter the atmosphere of the Earth. These collisions produce shafts of color that may be seen from the ground. They are visible above the magnetic poles of the southern and northern hemispheres; the lights above the northern hemisphere are called the Aurora Borealis, as opposed to the Aurora Australis, which can be viewed from the southern hemisphere.
You might see the lights in a variety of hues, including pink, green, violet, blue, red, and yellow. They also appear in a range of shapes – from patches of light, to colored arcs, rays, and streams, to cloudy formations, to curtains of light that look as though they are rippling with color.
Why the Aurora Borealis Occurs
The collision of particles with one another is what causes the Northern Lights to appear. Gaseous particles from the atmosphere of the Earth collide with charged particles coming from the sun’s atmosphere. The variances in color depend on the particular gas that is involved in a particular collision. There could be a link between the occurrence of the Northern Lights and sunspots and scientists have suspected this connection since the late 1800s.
When and Where to See the Lights
The manifestation of the Northern Lights is cyclical, and they seem to peak approximately every 11 years. Winter is typically the best time to watch the display when you are in the northern hemisphere. They are more easily seen in the dark, and viewing them on a clear night is ideal.
The Northern Lights have long provided a delightful subject for photographers. Getting a perfect shot of the lights may require some time and patience, but the end result should be well worth the effort. Seeing them on film is certainly a viable alternative for those who cannot be in the right part of the northern hemisphere to observe their magic in person.
If you ever have a chance to watch this breathtaking display in the sky, it is not to be missed. The Northern Lights over Svalbard are truly worth traveling to see. People who can’t be physically present to witness this memorable phenomenon can still get a sense of its magnificence by viewing it in photographs and on film.
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