Experiencing the cold allows us to witness the magic of our universe, particularly through polar lights, one of the most awe-inspiring reminders of the privilege of living on Earth. This breathtaking phenomenon occurs when charged solar particles collide with the planet's magnetosphere, resulting in auroras – millions of energy-charged molecules striking Earth.
Polar lights have become a dream for many travelers. Year after year, they search for the best season and locations to witness this astronomical and atmospheric event, which fills the night with a grand display of lights invading the sky in the darkness. That's why we're sharing the best places and some facts about polar lights with you.
Northern and Southern lights: are they the same?
Many travelers and enthusiasts of Earth's phenomena often talk about the Northern Lights, but when it comes to the Southern Lights, fewer people know what they are and whether it's the same phenomenon where the sky fills with greenish, yellow, and purple lights.
Yes, the Northern and Southern Lights are the same, resulting from the same collision of molecules against the Earth. However, the difference lies in where they occur. The Northern Lights happen in the Northern Hemisphere, while the Southern Lights, another form of polar lights, illuminate the skies of the Southern Hemisphere.
Where can you see the best polar lights?
If your dream is to witness the polar lights, here are some of the best places and seasons where you can enjoy one of the most beautiful natural phenomena:
From September to March, the sky over the Lofoten Islands lights up with the Northern lights, making it not only a breathtaking sight but also a place filled with countless attractions to explore.
This country specializes in welcoming aurora enthusiasts, offering multiple hotels and locations designed to provide you with the ultimate experience in the cold. The best time to see the polar lights is from October to March.
Have you ever wondered, why is it good to choose places to go in winter?
You can catch a glimpse of the auroras near the city here, but it's best to venture away from light pollution and seek out more remote locations, just like in Norway. From September to March, you can witness the polar lights in Iceland.
Learn more about the best places to visit in Iceland.
Chasing the Southern lights may not be as easy as the Northern lights, but due to its proximity to the Antarctic Circle, this place gets filled with the Southern lights during seasons from June to August.
Did you know this about polar lights?
The colors and shapes of polar lights hide some scientific secrets that will make you want to pack your bags and enjoy this natural spectacle in the cold:
The greens, yellows, purples, and more colors of polar lights are produced due to the interaction of solar wind particles with the atoms and molecules present in our atmosphere. Greens and yellows result from the excitation of oxygen, while blues, purples, and sometimes reds are produced by nitrogen.
In 2012, Finnish scientists confirmed that polar lights produce sounds that are inaudible to humans, but they resemble the sound of walking on dry leaves.
Earth is not the only planet where this phenomenon occurs; planets like Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune also experience it because solar wind interacts with the planet's magnetic fields, creating polar lights.
Undoubtedly, it is a unique experience that reminds us of how wonderful our planet is and how astonishing the cold can be. We can find moments of wonder at sub-zero temperatures, provided we are prepared to turn the cold into a warmth that can be shared with the world.
Have you already experienced polar lights?