Northern Lights

Christina & Julie

What are the northern lights?

  • The northern lights are a large number of electrically charged particles (electrons) at high speed stream in towards the Earth along its magnetic field and collide with the highest air particles.
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How high up are the northern lights?

  • They mostly occur between 90 and 130 km above sea level.
  • In comparison, the usual altitude for a jet aircraft is 10 km, and the ozone lays between 20 and 30 km high.

What do the colors mean?


  • Oxygen usually causes a green or brownish-red color
  • Nitrogen causes a red or blue color
  • Helium causes a purple or blue color
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When & where can you see the northern lights?

  • In Northern Norway, it's very easy to see the northern lights on clear nights. However, the sky needs to be very dark in order for the lights to show. Beginning of September until the end of April is the prime time for the lights.
  • If you were in the south part of Norway, you could occasionally see them few times a month on very clear dark nights.