The Northern Lights: An Experience of a Lifetime

Northern Lights by madmack66 on flickr CC.

The chance to view the spectacular displays of these dancing lights might be any dying man’s last wish. The Northern Lights (also called Aurora Borealis) create such magical colors in the sky that spectators can’t help but be completely captivated. Unfortunately, it is never certain that your desire to see the lights will be well met by nature. These magical colors in the sky generally occur between autumn and winter, and a cold and cloudless sky are the ideal set up for the fantastic show of lights to appear. And when the display finally begins, don’t blink! It may last for few minutes or several days, depending on its intensity.

Get Ready for the Show

NASA scientists and other experts have pronounced December 2013 to be the best time in the last ten years to see the Northern lights. It is said that they will sparkle with more intensity than usual, as it did ten years ago. An article in the Telegraph talks about this phenomenon in detail but, basically, every eleven years the geomagnetic field of the sun flips, which results in a change of sun’s polarity. During this period when the sun ejects its plasma charged particles towards the earth, they are more intense. All you need is a cloudless sky this December and you may be blessed with the treat of seeing these dancing lights for yourself. Furthermore, as there will be more heated activity this year and the aurora oval is likely to expand and reach further south than usual.

But Where and When?

Now, where exactly to view it? You can check the lights out anywhere around the Earth’s poles, and in places like Alaska, Finland, Norway, Canada, Russia, Sweden, Iceland– just to name a few spots where you ought to be. And, you can also try this prediction technique to find out the probable time. We know that the sun takes 27 days to rotate on its axis, and we also know that Northern Lights are caused by particles ejected by the storm brewing on the sun’s surface. Also, the sun spots that we see on its surface are indications of the sun storm. So, make a note of the date the last phenomenon occurred, and check out the sky on 27th – 28th day. If the storm is still brewing you may see the sun spot and you have chances of seeing the majestic show of lights again, with the condition that it has to be cloudless sky!

Go Canada

Canada boasts 80 to 90 percent of its land under the ideal zone for viewing this wonderful phenomenon, and they are surely some of the best locations due to the fact that the occurrence here is more intense and even brighter. Canada’s area has strong geomagnetic currents which encourage these displays– but we can’t forget that the occurrence knocked out the power supply of Quebec for several days a few years ago!

Go Norway

Tromso, a town in northern Norway is also considered an ideal place to be watching for the lights, as it is located above the Arctic Circle, and right in the middle of the Northern Lights zone.

Well, the showdown has already begun, as there have already been displays over Canada and other places, hence if autumn is here winter is right around the corner! So, get your binoculars ready to get up-close with this display of nature. Better now than later, as you may have to wait for when the sun flips again– not for another 10 years! For any assistance you can always check out the resources at The Aurora Zone.

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