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The Amazing Visage of Aurora Borealis: The Best Places to Gaze upon the Northern Lights

The beautiful sight of the Northern lights is a natural phenomenon which happens when the electrical particles charged from the Sun hit the Earth’s atmosphere. Yet, it has to happen in certain areas that have magnetization, such as the North and the South Pole. Hence, these lights are only visible on the fringes of the southern and northern hemispheres. They go under the names of “Aurora Borealis” in the northern hemisphere and “Aurora Australis” in the southern.

Usually, the predominant color is emerald green of every shade possible, though streaks of pink, yellow, blue, red, and purple can also be seen. They form bedazzling shimmering curtains of light or shoot upwards in straight lines or curve in gentle arches. Unfortunately, these beautiful lights are seen just from certain locations worldwide, in the so called “Northern lights zone”. If you want to follow their luminous trail, we have compiled this list for you:

Aurora Over Tromso, Norway

This northern city is the most famous Norwegian sneak-a-peek location for observing the Aurora Borealis. Tourists can embark ships cruising the fjords or take a comfortable seat in their famous brewery and enjoy a pint and the wonderful vista in the same time. Our advice, do not overindulge with the beer, because the Northern lights are quite elusive, you might lose the moment and wait for a whole year to see them;

1. Norway-Tromso-Northern-Lights-1_aurora via flickr by “El Gabo” – Davide Gabino licensed CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Aurora Over Luosto and Sodankyla, Finland

Luosto is a city in northern Finland, famous for their Aurora Chalet. Once you arrive, they will give you the “Aurora Alarm” which makes a sound every time the lights are visible. If you are headed to their neighboring town of Sodanklya, which takes pride of their very own Aurora Borealis Research Center and they send the word to the guests in hotels when the bright greens make their appearance;

2. Finland_aurora via apod.nasa.gov

Aurora Over Thingvellir National Park, Iceland

If you ditch the neon lights or Reykjavik and trade them for the open wilderness of a nearby National Park and UNESCO protected Heritage site, you will be treated with the simmering emeralds and palest pinks of the Northern lights. Make sure that you time your visit for early March, because that is the only time when the phenomenon is visible from this location;

3. Iceland-1_aurora via flickr by viktoras kaubrys licensed CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

 Aurora Over Alaska, USA

Alaska is the only place where the Northern Lights are seen from on the US soil. Alaska is vast, so make sure you are near Fairbanks or somewhere in the Denali and Yukon areas, as to be able to see it;

4. Alaska_aurora via flickr by BJ Graf licensed CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Aurora Over The British Isles, UK

The few locations in the UK that the Northern Lights are visible from are to be found on the British Isles. Mind us, the Isles are usually a gray and cloudy place, not the best spot that you would choose to go for sky gazing. Yet, sometimes the obscure and heavy wintery skies over the Isles part enough as to allow the brilliant green to illuminate the grayscale landscapes. Aberdeen, one of the Scottish most northern cities, is an ideal place to observe the Aurora Borealis.

5. British Isles_aurora via flickr by Cano Vääri licensed CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

 

 

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