The Northern Lights: Revel in their beauty and be enchanted

10 Dec 2016

While they look magical, the Northern Lights are a natural occurrence. Image: Oxana Gracheva/Shutterstock

Known as ‘Aurora Borealis’ in the North Pole and ‘Aurora Australis’ in the South Pole, these light shows are a natural manifestation.

How the Vikings, Eskimos, Inuits and Yupiks didn’t go out of their minds marvelling at the beauty of what we now know as the Northern Lights, I will never know.

But, some day, I hope to see this natural phenomenon with my own eyes.

What are the Northern Lights?

Well, they are the result of collisions between gaseous particles in the Earth’s atmosphere with charged particles from the sun’s atmosphere.

According to the boffins, electrons and protons are actually blown toward the Earth on the solar wind.

To most of us, they appear green in colour but sometimes they even arrive in all-red.

The lights of the aurora extend from 80km (50 miles) to as high as 640km (400 miles) above the Earth’s surface.

If you are entranced and enamoured by the Northern Lights, enjoy these videos.

Night of the Northern Lights

Norway Northern Lights

How the Northern Lights occur

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John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years