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A Spectacle of Lights

It may be an effort to see the Northern Lights, but it is well worth it. It is an experience of a lifetime! Seeing the colorful lights flicker across the sky is on the bucket list of many. What causes this phenomenon, what is the best place and the best time to experience it, and what is the legend all about?

 

The Aurora Borealis Explained

These mysterious dancing lights are the result of collisions between gaseous particles in the Earth’s atmosphere with charged particles released from the sun’s atmosphere. There are protons and electrons from the sun that escape through holes in the magnetic field. These charged particles are blown to earth through solar wind and enter Earth’s atmosphere. Since the Earth’s magnetic field is weaker at the poles, the charged particles collide with the Earth’s gas particles to produce this incredible light show.

 

Best Places and Time to Capture the View

Northern Norway is often said to be one of the best places to observe this celestial ballet of light. A small village without all the “light pollution” would be ideal. The best time to see the auroral activity is during the winter season on a clear night around midnight. The best conditions to see the lights are: dark skies, strong lights, and no clouds.

 

Legends of the Lights

There are many legends of this elusive phenomenon. Here are a few:

  • In medieval times, the lights were seen as an omen of war or famine.
  • Some in Europe and North America thought the lights were reflections of torches or campfires.
  • Some of the Native Americans thought the auroras indicated where giants were located.
  • The Inuit of Alaska believed the lights were spirits of animals that they hunted such as seals, deer, and whales.
  • Other Aboriginal people thought they were spirits of their own people who have died.

 

Penless has many VideoDrops so you can upload all the great pictures and videos of this amazing display of lights. Your photobooks will come alive with the VideoDrops so you can relive your adventure again and again!

“It’s a curious thing about the universe. Behind the most stunning sights to behold, lies some of the most challenging problems in physics.” – Scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson

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