Northern lights

 

 

In Lapland, you can experience a polar night in the winter, when the sun does not rise above the horizon. At the most northern place of the Finland, the polar night will last for 51 days. Polar night is a dark time, but in the moonlight, you can see where you are going. The northern lights also light up Lapland’s winter nature.

Northern lights are a light phenomenon which can be seen in the sky of the northern and southern polar regions in bright dark nights. Northern lights are typically generated at about 100 km altitude, as the electrically charged particles accelerated by the earth’s magnetic field collide with the air molecules that deliver part of the energy they receive in the form of visible light. The phenomenon is similar as the light glow which comes when the image appears on a television tube or a fluorescent light tube. The most common greenish-yellow and sometimes red northern lights form from atmospheric oxygen, blue and purple form from nitrogen. Particles that excite northern lights come from the sun, which they are ejected into space at a rate of up to 1000 km/sec and it is called the solar wind.

According to the old Asian belief, a man who has once seen the northern lights will live happily for the rest of his life. For example, in Rovaniemi, on average, northern lights are seen every other night. Most likely you will see northern lights in September-October and February-March. The name “northern lights” comes from the old Lappish legend, according to when the fox runs along the mountains and when its tail hits the snow drift it will cause sparks and those sparks construct light phenomenon which is known as
northern lights.

Northern lights – the most beautiful color play of nature

Encyclopedias are defining that the northern lights are colorful light phenomena which are appearing at the vicinity of the polar regions. Northern lights are formed by the charged particles, electrons and protons carried by the solar wind, colliding with the top of the Earth’s atmosphere. The definition – although apparently scientifically right – may sound a bit anemic in the ears of those who have seen a phenomenon called the Northern Shore or the Northern Wonderland (Aurora Polaris or Aurora Borealis) the phenomenon in its full splendor – Amazingly beautiful color play of nature which rapidly changes its colors and shape.

The shape and colors are changing

Northern lights usually occur at an altitude of 100 km. Their shape and colors vary widely. Northern lights can be seen as calm arches in the east-west direction as rays or as fast moving and pulsating shapes. The most common colors are greenish-yellow and red. Some of the northern light observers claim that the northern lights would also sound like a whistle. There is no scientific confirmation for that claim.

When you come to see the northern lights to Lapland, you should reserve a minimum of one week if you really want to see them well. At its most powerful, the northern lights will light as well as the full moon.

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