Aurora Borealis, or more commonly know, the Northern Lights, was named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas, by Galileo in 1619.
What are the Northern Lights?
The Aurora, classed as one of the seven wonders of the natural world, is an incredible light show caused by collisions between electrically charged particles released from the sun through solar winds, which then collide with different atmospheric elements in the area around the Earths Poles. The lights can range in colour, depending on what gases are mixed, but green is the more commonly seen colour.
The lights can be seen between the months of September and April, with ideal conditions being a cloud free night, with no artificial lighting. Of course, with it being a natural phenomenon, you can not guarantee that you will see this beautiful show, but as they say, you have to be in it to win it, so go and give it a go.
Where are the Northern Lights?
Getting as close to the north pole as possible will give you the best chance of seeing them, with countries such as Norway, Iceland, Sweden and Finland in Europe, and Canada and Alaska in North America being regular destinations for people to visit.
The solar winds given off by the sun go in a cycle, which lasts roughly 11 years. Right now we are just leaving a solar maximum, meaning there are more sun spots on the sun, and this means more chances of solar winds and in turn more chances of seeing the Northern Lights. When there is a solar maximum it is even possible to see the lights from the north of the UK, with Scotland a good destination to view them and it is even possible to spot them from the North of England.
Take a look at AuroraWatch and sign up for their email alerts that will let you know when a sighting maybe possible and where about you could see it from.
For a truly amazing experience why not stay in a glass igloo where you may get to see the Northern Lights from your very own bed.
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