And now, How the Stunning Aurora Borealis – Northern Polar Lights Are Created

The Best Time To See The Northern Lights

NASA picture captured from the International Space Station

An aurora, sometimes referred to as a polar light or northern light, is a natural light display in the sky, predominantly seen in the high latitude (Arctic and Antarctic) regions.

Auroras are produced when the magnetosphere is sufficiently disturbed by the solar wind that the trajectories of charged particles in both solar wind and magnetospheric plasma, mainly in the form of electrons and protons, precipitate them into the upper atmosphere (thermosphere/exosphere), where their energy is lost. The resulting ionization and excitation of atmospheric constituents emits light of varying colour and complexity.

The form of the aurora, occurring within bands around both polar regions, is also dependent on the amount of acceleration imparted to the precipitating particles. Precipitating protons generally produce optical emissions as incident hydrogen atoms after gaining electrons from the atmosphere. Proton auroras are usually observed at lower latitudes.

The Best Time

Guaranteed darkness is the first important factor. The best season to see the northern lights in Iceland is from September to mid-April – these are the months where there are full dark nights.

Second most important factor is the length of time you choose to stay in Iceland. To get the best odds of seeing the lights, it is recommended you stay a minimum of seven nights in the country.

Third important factor is the weather. Since Iceland is a small north Atlantic island, it is subject to fierce and rapidly changing weather.

If you live in Europe, the easiest thing to do is head to the far northern parts of Norway, Sweden and Finland.

North America, Between James Bay and the west coast of Alaska, Yellowknife or Whitehorse in the Canadian Yukon, 

In Alaska, anywhere from Fairbanks north offers good viewing.

 

Breathtaking Paraglide Flight Through Aurora Borealis | Horacio Llorens

How The Northern Lights Are Created VIDEO

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