Why do we have northern lights?
The night sky is suddenly coloured in green, yellow, blue, or red and soft waves dance around in the sky. There have been reports of a crackling and whining sound, almost like the sound from a fire, and for many it is a great dream to see this spectacular phenomenon. But why do the northern lights occur?
Northern lights occurs at both poles of the planet, and although it is common to somewhat carelessly call it northern lights regardless of where on earth it occurs, you can separate it by calling them the northern and southern lights; aurora borealis and aurora australis in Latin. Aurora means dawn light, borealis means northern and australis means southern. The phenomena occur when particle radiation from the sun comes into contact with the earth's atmosphere. When this happens it collides with atoms and molecules and forms a kind of excess energy in the form of light. The Earth's magnetic field causes the particles, which usually consist of electrons and protons, to center on the areas around the poles and therefore it is the only area it is possible to see the lights. According to researchers, the northern lights are somewhat more dynamic and dramatic than the more stable southern lights.
In the past, we believed that the earth was flat and surrounded by ocean and fire. We believed that the aurora borealis arose when the glow from these fires became so strong that it was reflected in the sky. Another explanation was that glaciers could contract and gather so much power that they eventually became luminous. However, what is certain is that the aurora borealis has been marveled at and admired by people throughout the ages.
Soucse: SMHI, SVT, IRF, SR
Orcas and Northern Lights in Northern Norway 2023M/S Stockholm 12 passengers6 days 5 nights on ship USD 4 490LanguagesDepartures: October / November 2023
Travelling through the stunning Norwegian coastal landscape on a small expedition cruise ship is simply hard to beat. Lofoten islands welcome with picturesque fishing villages, squeezed between soaring mountains and quiet fjords. In wintertime Tromsø offers magnificent sceneries over dramatic landscapes and great chances to spot both orcas and humpback whales. If we’re lucky we will also see the magical Northern Lights dancing in the sky. Join us on an unforgettable cruise!