What are the Northern Lights and Best Place to See Them


Northern Light one the most amazing natural wonders of the world predominantly seen in the high altitude regions.

You probably heard about the strange but beautiful natural phenomena the Northern Light which also known as Aurora Borealis in the North and Aurora Australis in the south.

The northern lights occurs when excited solar particle collide with atmospheric gaseous particles. It can last for a minute or in some cases a day.

You can watch this phenomenon above the magnetic pole of the northern and southern hemispheres.

Aurora displays appear in number of colors, pale green and pink are the common one. You can find shades of red, yellow, green, violet and blue in aurora displays.

Northern light appear in many forms of display from scattered to patches cloud of light to streamers, arcs, shooting rays that light up the sky with an eerie glow.

Most of you curious about to know the cause behind Northern light, so here we go:

Cause of Northern Light:

Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights are actually the collision between gaseous particles in the Earth’s air with charged particles discharged from the sun’s environment.

The variation of color in Northern light is because of the type of gas particle that are colliding.

Pale yellowish color which is the most common color in northern light is produced by the molecule of oxygen located around 60 miles above the earth. And all red auroras are result of high altitude oxygen located 200 miles from earth.


A scientific research suspects the connection between the northern light and sunspot activity. As we all know that the temperature above the surface of sun is millions of degree Celsius. At this temperature collision between gaseous particles are frequent and explosive.

Free electron and proton are tossed from the sun’s atmosphere by the rotation of the sun and departure through holes in the magnetic field. However, the magnetic field of earth is weaker at North and South Pole, in this way few particles enter the earth atmosphere and collide into gas particles. These collisions produce light that we see as the dancing lights of the north (and the south).

What are the best place to see northern lights?

Northern Lights

As I mention above the Northern lights can be watch in the Northern and Southern hemisphere, where an irregular shaped imaged centered over each magnetic pole.

In past scientist                 learned that sometimes northern and southern light are mirror-like images with similar shapes and colors occurs at same time.

Since this beautiful phenomena happens close to the magnetic poles, northern lights have been seen as far south as New Orleans in the western side of the equator. Anyway the best places to watch the lights (in North America) are in the northwestern parts of Canada, especially the Yukon, Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Alaska.

Aurora display can also be seen over the southern tip of Greenland and Iceland, the northern shore of Norway and over the beach front waters north of Siberia. Southern auroras are not regularly observed as they are concentrated in a ring around Antarctica and the southern Indian Ocean.

List of place where you can see Northern Lights;

  • Alaska Canada
  • Northern Canada
  • Norway
  • Iceland
  • Finland
  • Russia
  • Sweden
  • Greenland

Best Time to See Northern Lights:

Northern Lights


According to one research the Aurora activity is cyclic probably after every 11 years.

The best time to see Northern Light is when the night is longer, colder and clearer means in winter. The longs periods of darkness and the frequency of clear night provides the best opportunity to watch the Northern Light. Local midnight when the sky is clear is the best time to watch aurora display.

Bonus Tips

  • Try to leaves the cities and seek out dark skies because the pollution affects the visibility of aurora display.
  • Aurora display common in winter when the night is longer, full of darkness and clear skies.
  • Do your proper research ahead of time.

Meaning of Aurora Borealis:

Aurora is Latin word which means sunrise and the name of the Roman Goddess of The dawn and Borealis is the Greek word for the north wind.

So here is everything about Northern Lights, hope you enjoyed it!!!

Did you watch Northern lights? Share your experience with us in below comment box.

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