Aurora Borealis

A.K.A The Northern Lights

Why the Lights Happen and What Causes the Colors.

The Northern Lights are actually collisions between gas particles in the Earth's atmosphere with charged particles released from the sun's atmosphere. Variations in color are due to the type of gas particles that are colliding. The most common color is, a pale yellowish-green, which is produced by oxygen molecules located about 60 miles above the earth. The most rare are the all-red auroras which are produced by high-altitude oxygen, at heights of up to 200 miles. Nitrogen produces blue or purplish-red aurora.

Best Place and Time to See The Northern Lights

  • Top ten best places to see the lights:

  • 10:Denali National Park, Alaska

    9: Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada

  • 8: Tromsø, Norway

  • 7: Murmansk, Kola Peninsula, Russia

  • 6: Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

  • 5: South Pole, Antarctica

  • 4: Tasmania, Australia

  • 3: Stewart Island, New Zealand

  • 2: South Georgia Island

  • 1: Ushuaia, Argentina


  • Best time to see the lights:

  • The lights are most frequent in late autumn and winter. Between the autumn equinox and the spring equinox.

  • How People Forecast the Lights.

    Geomagnetic activity and your geographic location. Further considerations are the weather at your location, and light pollution from city lights, full moon and so forth.