The Northern Lights (also called Aurora Borealis) are a natural phenomenon which is associated with the Arctic and Northern areas of Norway. Sometimes, the Northern Lights can be seen much further south too. Today it appeared over Eastern Norway.
My girlfriend, brother and I had eaten dinner with my family on Jevnaker. When I opened the entrance door, I discovered a faint shadow across the sky. After taking a closer look, I saw that it was the Northern Lights. Suddenly, the shadow exploded into a nice Northern Lights-show, and we were able to capture some pictures of it with our phones.
When the Northern Lights got weaker, we jumped in the car and headed for Oslo. When we approached Oslo (or more specifically Nittedal), I discovered the same shadow in the sky again. I stopped the car and went out to see. Suddenly, the shaddow exploded into Northern Lights again and it was transformed into a magnificent Aurora-show that danced across the sky. According to my girlfriend and brother, it was funnier to watch me and my response to it (when I screamed out of joy and happiness) than the sky. From now on, I will NEVER, EVER travel without carrying my camera with me.
The Northern Lights occurs as a result of the sun, that emits large amounts of energy in the form of electrically charged particles. This activity of sun winds is constant, and can sometimes be so strong that electronics gets destroyed on Earth. When this happens, it is called a sun storm. The Particles which strikes the Earth´s gravity gets pulled toward the polar regions, where they enter the Earth´s atmosphere. When the Particles hits the gases in the atmosphere, lights are released and the Arora occurs. It is when the sun stormes occurs (or when the sun activity is strong) that you will see the strongest lights. A great tip is to check out the Auroral Forecast app (Android, iOS) from the University Centre in Svalbard.
Depending on how high in the sky, and which gases are reached by the particles, the Northen Lights will occur in different colors:
- Over 180 km: Nitrogen molecules and oxygen atoms creates a red light
- 180 - 120 km: Oxygen Atoms creates a strong yellow-green light
- Ounder 120 km: Nitrogen Molecular Ions creates a mauve light