Northern Lights Time Lapse from Space

By , February 11, 2012 11:50 pm

Check out this awesome video posted by BBC. Time lapse is the process of taking hundreds of high resolution photos every few seconds and stitching them together to make video. This one if taken from space, making it that much cooler

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-16974948

AMAZING Northern Lights Video

By , November 15, 2011 11:01 pm

This is one of the coolest northern lights videos you will see. Time lapse views of the aurora borealis from the International Space Station…

Some awesome things to do in Norway (while you hang out for the Northern Lights)

By , October 28, 2011 4:05 pm

It is important to know before you set out on your journey to see the aurora borealis that this phenomenon does not appear as frequent as you see the stars in the evening skies and that there’s no assurance you would see it on a specific time and date as its appearance is dependent on the storm activity on the surface of the sun. There are other conditions that need to be met namely: the sky should be clear enough with the least cloud formation and you should wait for winter to come to get the clearest view possible from six in the evening until midnight. It’s quite ironic that most smokers between these hours in Tromso have higher chances to see the northern lights compared to non-smokers because of their need to go outside to light their cigarettes. They should thank the local government for implementing smoking ban in bars. It is highly-suggested that you sleep all day and gather your energy so that you can stay up all night to anticipate the northern lights. Tromso is in the auroral zone so you should be able to see the aurora borealis. Just be patient.

Most of the travelers who patiently waited for the northern lights to appear have had success in witnessing the magical spectacle. There are some activities that you can do to improve your chances of seeing the northern lights. Here are some of them:

  • Dog-sledding has been one of the major tourist attractions in Tromso and several others such as sleigh-riding, reindeer-sledding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. You may choose from any of these options to get yourself busy while waiting for the aurora borealis.
  • You may also opt to enjoy the panoramic views of the mountains by renting a car and taking a short day trip to Lyngen and south-east of the Lyngen Alps to wrap your day up before evening comes. The climate in the south-east area of the Lyngen Alps is significantly dry in the evening and the weather is more favorable than on the coast. Car rental is much cheaper during winter so no need to worry.
  • You may also consider visiting the Tromso museum by bus and enjoy a relaxing walk together with your family or friends along the dark western side of Tromso Island. Two hours of strolling will eventually get you to Giæverbukta bus terminal where regular departures to the city are available until 11:30 in the evening.

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Where to catch the aurora borealis in the UK

By , October 26, 2011 8:03 pm

The United Kingdom is definitely not left behind by other countries where the northern lights can be seen as reports of auroral sightings have been documented in the southern part of UK. Don’t believe us? Check out this news article. These auroral sightings are possible when the geomagnetic activity intensifies. As the degree of geomagnetic intensity increases, so does the auroral zone that covers the area where the northern lights regularly appear. The auroral zone is an oval-shaped ring around the magnetic pole where the aurora borealis is frequently occurring.

Timing is everything if you want to catch an auroral display in the English skies. You need to be on the alert every time for geomagnetic storms to increase your chances of seeing the northern lights. How? You can search Google for “Introduction to Magnetometer” by Clifford E. Carnicom and learn how to create a home-made magnetometer. It’s not that accurate but the fluctuations and surges of geomagnetic storm activity can be detected. The northern lights are caused by these geomagnetic storms and what makes aurora hunting even more challenging is that it is very rare to catch an intense geomagnetic storm and to top it all; it doesn’t last long.

Further, the aurora is a by-product of the sun’s storm activity. In some occasion there are eruptions on the sun and massive charged particles are blown out into space. Some of these charged particles, or solar particles, get off-track and caught by the Earth’s magnetic field and directed towards the geomagnetic regions.

As these charged particles progress their way down to Earth their speed is reduced by the atmosphere which detects and filters them as foreign objects. As they come in contact with the atmosphere and the gases that surround it, light energy is produced.

When a solar particle is in collision with an atmospheric molecule it becomes electrically-charged and unstable. The solar particle’s unstable status causes it to get stimulated and consequently will emit light in the process. If you’ve seen how a girl screams when she sees her crush then it pretty much looks that way.

The color that the aurora produces is determined by the available atmospheric gases the charged particles interacted with. The variety of colors that you see during a spectacular northern lights display is a combination of oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, and other gases. Every atmospheric gas has its own particular color to shed. The most common colors during an auroral spectacle are green, yellow, and blue. Violet and red are rare to find so consider yourself lucky if these colors show up to you.

 

Top 3 Places To See The Northern Lights In Canada

By , October 24, 2011 10:58 pm

The aurora borealis is a natural phenomenon that has a massive impact on spectators and this is what makes this wonderful spectacle worth anticipating. There are specific spots or zones where you can see the aurora and you can’t just see them anywhere. The Northern Hemisphere is one of the places where the northern lights can be seen. Explanations have been made in the past to its cause but not only until recently that the modern science of astronomy had fully explained the northern lights’ occurrence.

Canada is one of the countries where the northern lights can be seen. The aurora can be fairly seen throughout its tundra, wilderness, and mountain ranges, specifically Canadian Shield (the oldest mountain range in the world).

The northern part of Canada is said to provide the best views of the northern lights. The major locations where the aurora can be seen with high level of clarity are Nunavut, Yukon, and the Northwest Territories. Nunavut is situated on vast tundra in the middle of North East Canada. One unique and unforgettable mode of transportation to get there is by dogsled. Yukon, on the other hand, is located within Canada’s mountains in the North West. Lastly, the most popular place in the Northwest Territories where the northern lights can be best seen is Yellowknife. It is expected that the place is heavily congested during peak season.

Other places where the northern lights can be glimpsed are north of Quebec, Alberta, Labrador, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.

Most travel tour packages in Canada include the aurora borealis’ sight-seeing as part of the package. Tourists who come to Canada to see the northern lights for the first time need not worry as they will be given proper assistance and guidance on preparation and other stuff related to aurora sight-seeing. One great way to wait for the northern lights to appear is by camping along lakesides where the lights would reflect on the waters. You can just imagine the beauty of the colors reflected on the rippling waters.

For more than centuries the natives of Canada have believed that the aurora borealis is a spiritual sign from the deities or from their dead ancestors. They even believed that the flickering lights are the spirits of the unborn babies adorning the evening skies. Regardless, the northern lights have mystified people from all over the world and their impact to the witnesses is beyond description.

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What are the northern lights?

By , October 21, 2011 7:35 pm

A while ago, I tried to explain to you guys what the northern lights were. I feel I gave a pretty good explanation, but this page does a much better job than I could ever hope to.

It is an awesome resource if you want to learn about the actual science of the northern lights.

They also have a bunch of amazing pictures, both visual and scientific, so check them out!

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Wanna predict the northern lights?

Hey guys

Eventually, we will have a section on the site which will collate a whole bunch of data about current northern lights activity. It will be a one stop shop for northern lights forecasting and prediction. Until then, here is an awesome resource to try: NOAA / Space Weather Prediction Center.

The Space Weather Prediction Centre tells you exactly where you need to be and when you need to be there. It even explains why!

Check it out when you get a chance

 

 

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More reasons to choose Iceland for your Aurora getaway

By , October 19, 2011 12:59 pm

Iceland is known to be one of the few nations blessed with happy and optimistic people. Cost of living in Iceland is seemingly high and it is one of the most developed countries in the world. Iceland is one of the prime holiday destinations for tourists all over the world because of its magnificent landscape, breathtaking sunset, and of course, the aurora borealis.

It is very crucial for travelers to choose the time and season of the year to travel to Iceland as this determines the quality of experience. For example, the months of September and May are the best times of the year to see the northern lights. Ironically, peak tourist season starts from June to August and it seems that people go to Iceland not to see the northern lights but for something else. Again, Iceland has more to offer other than the northern lights.

There’s so much price to pay to see the magical aurora borealis but it’s worth it. Snow starts to fall heavily during September so expect facilities to close down and transportation services to reduce their operating hours. It is also anticipated that during this month some roads will be heavily covered with snow, rendering them impassable. There are advantages, however, if you go spend your holiday escapade during off season in Iceland namely: flight tickets are cheaper, tourist attractions are not that congested, you get to see frozen waterfalls, and last but definitely not the least, the northern lights.

The northern lights in Iceland are results of solar particles that collide with the Earth’s atmospheric gases namely oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen. The collision produces a chemical reaction which ultimately creates bright colors across the skies. Tourists who go to Iceland during the months of September and May are most likely on a northern lights quest.

Auroral formation in Iceland is observed to be streaks of light that slowly transform into wave-like and ring-like forms. The display of light is often described as heavy flickering and surging. Auroral formations, however, vary and largely depend on the sun’s storm activity and weather conditions.

One of the best things Iceland can offer is fresh food. The food quality in Iceland is extremely high. The country strictly forbids the use of hormones. Icelanders love seafood a lot and it is central to its culture. Some of the popular dishes in Iceland are smoked lamb, dried fish, and salted fish. A tourist’s visit to Iceland during Christmas season is incomplete if he hasn’t tasted Jola O, a beer-tasting orange soda.

 

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Reasons You Should See The Northern Lights In Norway

By , October 16, 2011 7:34 am

The northern lights in Norway has ceased to be a mystery since science has already discovered what causes them but they continue to enchant us with beauty that transcends every aspect of its definition. The Norwegian northern lights have been a major tourist attraction; even locals can’t seem to get enough of them, and are as much excited as the tourists to see this rare phenomenon. If you ask what makes the northern lights in Norway so special that you should bother pack up and go there then think of it this way: if you cared to watch a spectacular fireworks display on television which was produced by human hands then what would be the reason of you not watching the northern lights in Norway which are magnificently created by God’s hand? If you don’t believe in God then think of the auroras in Norway in a scientific perspective: a fascinating array of light caused by millions of explosions of magnetic energy in the thermosphere. Better believe in God to save you from all of these jargons.

The northern lights Norway spectacle is priceless as it gives you and your family the opportunity to witness beauty beyond the definition of words. I would bet a dollar your girlfriend, wife, kids, or whoever you bring along with you, would thank you for the chance to see the northern lights in Norway. Seeing the Norway northern lights can be quite challenging, as it is reportedly an effort to catch a glimpse of them. The northern lights in Norway can be seen best during the months of March and September. You have to consider a lot of factors like the weather and cloud and sky formation for the entire week so that you will have the best view of the northern lights in Norway. These and all you need not worry, as the local tourist guide will provide you everything to prepare you the best view of the northern lights possible.

It is highly recommended you bring along a camcorder to capture the Norway northern lights instead of a camera or if you have both, much better. However, let somebody do the video recording so that you won’t miss the Norway northern lights yourself. There’s no substitute to the first-hand experience of viewing the auroras and contemplating the beauty nature has to offer. Be enthralled with the best fireworks display ever produced by Mother Nature and witness the captivating northern lights in Norway.

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Top 6 Reasons To Choose Iceland For Your Northern Lights Holiday

By , October 15, 2011 9:56 am

The name Iceland is very misleading and makes the naturally lively island seem totally unbearable, (maybe because of the word “ice” in it) especially during mid-winter. There are sufficient reasons to choose Iceland as your top holiday destination especially during the months of December, January and February.

Contrary to popular belief, Iceland is not as cold as the name sounds. Average temperatures during Christmas season stay around 32 degrees Fahrenheit and don’t go any higher or lower than 2-3 degrees. In comparison, the temperature is pretty much close to that of New York or Amsterdam in December.

There’s a significant drop of visitors of almost fifty percent during winter season. The famous Blue Lagoon will only have a few visitors during this time of the year. Hotels are not over-crowded and you can effortlessly book a bus or a travel tour with less struggle and competition. Reykjavik is expected to be unaffected by this statistics, as it is always full of warm and friendly Icelanders all throughout the year.

The law of supply and demand tells us that tour operators during a major drop of visitors will most likely drop their prices too. Tour operators are expected to compete with each other and would chase after the few tourists during the winter months of December, January, and February. Further, Iceland has recently been listed as one of the best places to stay for your holiday vacation on a weak dollar.

Iceland is the perfect place to party all night during winter as the nights are six hours longer than usual. Icelanders are innately party-animals. Don’t be surprised to see people scattered all over the street of Laugavegur at around five in the morning. It is during this time of the day that the bars begin to close.

Of course, who would not want to see the northern lights in Iceland? Reykjavik is the top destination to see the best view of the enchanting aurora borealis. There’s no guarantee though you’d see the aurora in your first attempt, as it is quite elusive and playful. Whether you catch a glimpse of the northern lights or not, it’s still a win-win situation as Iceland offers the best starry skies possible.

Iceland is one part of the globe where the sun doesn’t soar above the horizon during winter. The sun only floats around the skies making the sunrise and sunset views in Iceland spectacular. The sunset lasts longer in Iceland than in places in lower latitudes. Professional photographers surely wouldn’t want to miss this great opportunity.

 

 

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