It is one of the items in the many people’s bucket list to see the aurora borealis – an astronomical phenomenon that’s also commonly referred as northern lights. There are so many stories revolved around the lights from old times and now they are often studied scientifically by modern scientists. Read 10 facts about the northern lights that can help you to get to know this wonder better.
The Meaning and Origin of the Name
The first of many aurora facts in this article related to the lights’ name. In 1619, the ‘aurora borealis’ term is coined by Galileo Galilei. ‘Aurora’ means ‘sunrise’, and ‘boreas’ means ‘wind’ in Greek language.
The name also corresponds to Roman’s god and goddess. Aurora is the name of Goddess of Dawn (Eos in Greek mythology) and Boreas is the name of God of North Wind.
The Cause of Behind the Spectacle
Electron is the atoms of Earth’s atmosphere are moving to higher state of energy when they are being struck by sun’s particles. This is what causes the collision between electrons in magnetosphere and nitrogen and oxygen molecules in the upper atmosphere.
Then, when the electrons move back to lower state of energy, they unleash light or photon. The process is what creates the northern lights.
The Possible Places to Witness the Northern Light
Next one on the facts about the northern lights, the auroras mostly occur in areas with high latitudes. They are more common to be seen during dark nights in places like Greenland or Alaska.
More northern lights fun facts to be told, there are studies that stated that the auroras actually happen constantly somewhere on the planet. They present during the day, but only visible with the naked eye in the darks.
Meet the Southern Light
You may have heard plenty of times about northern light, but the next of aurora borealis facts will bring you to their counterparts: the aurora australis or the southern lights.
Aurora australis is the term given for aurora that occurs in the southern pole. The best viewing locations of southern lights are including New Zealand, Tasmania, Hobart, and Antarctica.
Every Light Occurred Is Special and Unique on Their Own
One of the most interesting facts about the northern lights is that no two auroras are exactly the same, in terms of colors and patterns.
The most common color seen of the lights is yellow green, then followed by pink and green-red. You should consider yourself super lucky if you are able to witness the blue light and pure red lights.
The Northern Lights Can Be Seen From Space
Move on with the northern lights facts, do you know that the auroras are bright enough to be seen from the outside of the Earth?
Astronauts sometimes pass by and are able to see the northern lights when The International Space Station happens to be positioned at the same altitude as the auroras.
The Auroras Do Not Only Exist on the Earth
Most of the facts about the northern lights are not only applied for Earth, because the aurora borealis also exist in other planets. The phenomenon is not unique to our planet.
Several other planets that are known to be visited by the northern lights are Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, and Saturn. That being said, their lights are a bit different from Earth’s because of poles and atmosphere differences.
The Northern Lights Can Actually Be Heard
The following interesting facts about the northern lights list may awe you. Apparently, aurora borealis don’t only create stunning colors, but also audible sound by human.
However, with all the noise around you, it might be very hard to hear the lights. You might have a chance to hear it if you stand still and quietly, on a silent winter night under the lights.
They Can Be Captured by Simple Smartphone Cameras
The next detail you can find in this list of facts about the northern lights is quite interesting. So, evidently cameras can pick up the scene of aurora borealis better than your eyes. This is because cameras are normally more sensitive and has long-exposure setting.
You may need a DSLR camera to capture the lights. However, as technology advanced, you can just use your smartphone camera to catch the beauty of the auroras.
Plenty of People Make a Trip to See Them
Knowing how stunning and magical looking the northern lights are, no wonder many people want to see them in person. They especially make a great tourist attraction in countries like Greenland, Scandinavia, and Norway.
As mentioned before, you can get the best northern lights views during winter in high northern latitudes regions. It is also important to have dark and clear skies, so consider about the moon phase, sunset and sunrise times, and weather in particular.
If these facts about the northern lights make you even more interested to physically see them, then visit Airpaz.com. The website can provide you with information about how to get assistance on flight ticket booking and accommodation reservations to hunt this wonderful natural phenomenon by first-hand experience.