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Iceland, is the ideal holiday destination if you want to see the Northern Lights. The country is located midway between Europe and North America with direct flight routes from both continents
Aurora Borealis is the Latin name for the Northern Lights, which are one of the most spectacular shows on this planet, can frequently be seen in Iceland from September through April on clear and crisp nights. They can be seen clearly just 20 minutes’ away from Reykjavík, the capitol of Iceland.
Although the Northern Lights occur in both the north and south poles, they are called the Northern Lights on both sides.
One of the popular beliefs among the Inuit people about the Northern Lights is that they are the souls of the dead engaged in a noisy primitive-type game of football, using the skull of a walrus as a football. Laughing and dashing about, their aim is to kick the skull so that the tusks stick firmly in the ground upon landing. Some groups of the Inuit even say the skull is still living and actually attempts to stab the players! One of the modern day explanations of the Northern Lights is that the sunlight reflected from the polar ice. Another explanation is that the lights are the result of giant icebergs colliding in the polar seas. Interesting theories, but they are wrong!
The Northern Lights exist in the outmost level of the atmosphere, and begin occurring at an altitude of 100 kilometers and above. They are made by electrically charged particles that make the thin air glow as fluorescent light. They can be seen in an auroral line that forms 20 to 25 degrees around the geomagnetic poles.
Small particles, protons, and electrons from solar wind on the sun are stuck in the earth’s magnetic field. They begin to spiral back and forth along the magnetic lines. In other words, the particles circle around the magnetic pole, so to speak. While rushing around endlessly in their magnetic trap, some particles escape into the earth’s atmosphere. They begin to smash against particles in the atmosphere and these impacts cause the particles to glow, creating the auroras.
White and green are the main colors of the lights, but sometimes there are considerable color variations, as the pressure and composition of the atmosphere varies at different altitudes. At extremely high altitudes where the air pressure is very low, a reddish glow tends to be produced by oxygen particles when they are hit by the tiny particles of the solar wind. At lower altitudes, where the air pressure is higer, impact-irritated oxygen particles may glow with a greenish shade, and sometimes there is a reddish lower margin created by particles colliding with nitrogen particles in the immediate vicinity.
There have been numerous reports of the aurora emitting sound, but there is no scientific evidence to support this. Among the indigenous people of the north, there are claims that certain whistling and crackling sounds come from the auroral sky. Their explanation is that it is the spirits of the dead attempting to communicate with the living. One scientific explanation offered for any likely sounds heard has been that the aurora causes electricity to build up in the atmosphere.
The phenomenon is simply explained by modern science. What the ancestors may have thought when they watched into the brightly-lit winter sky is quite another matter. But by all means don’t let any scientific explanation spoil your gratitude of the beauty of the Northern Lights. They are a truly impressive demonstration, whatever their cause.
The Northern Lights can only be seen on a clear night, therefore the tourist should re-book Northern Lights tour if the evening sky is clouded and weather conditions are not favorable rather than losing the money.