What causes the Northern Lights?
When gas particles in the Earth's atmosphere collide, it releases electrically charged particles that make up the color. The northern lights come in many shapes and colors such as green, yellow, pink, blue, red and violet. Green, the most common is caused by oxygen particles 50 miles above earth while red, the most rare, is produced by oxygen particles 200 miles above earth. Blue and purplish-red are caused by nitrogen.
What is the best place to see the Northern lights?
Aurora Borealis is located near the North Pole so some of the best places to see them is Yukon, Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Iceland. The Aurora Australis is located around the South pole, so they are not as often seen, as they are mostly located in Antarctica. Basically, if you are going to see the northern lights, its going to be cold.
Is there a best time of the year to see the northern lights?
During the winter is usually the best time with the long nights. Its is best to look for the Northern Lights on clear nights. It was also discovered that the northern lights are more common every 11 years and the next peak is 2024.
Northern lights legends
Aurora Borealis means 'dawn of the north' while aurora australis means 'dawn of the south'. In Roman myths, Aurora was the goddess of dawn. Native Americans also had many legends explaining the appearances of the northern lights. The Menominee Native Americans of Wisconsin believed that the lights showed the location of manabai'wok that were the spirits of hunters and fisherman. The Inuit believed that the lights were the spirits of the animals they hunted such as seals and salmon and other aboriginal people believed the northern lights were the spirits of their people.