25 Interesting Facts About Northern Lights You Should Know Before You See Them

Officially known as Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights are one of nature’s most spectacular visual phenomena. Appearing in many forms from patches or scattered clouds of light to streamers, arcs, curtains or shooting rays, the northern lights’ amazing light display can be observed in the sky of high latitude regions such as Norway or Canada. You might know the cause of this natural phenomenon (collision of solar wind and magnetospheric charged particles) but there are many more interesting facts about this unreal spectacle that are worth learning. Here are 25 of them, illustrated with some of the most amazing Northern Lights pictures you have ever seen.

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The colors of the Northern Lights depend on what gas is involved and how high in the ionosphere the reaction takes place. Blue and green lights form at lower altitudes while red color comes from the highest altitudes.

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Auroras tend to be more frequent and spectacular during high solar sunspot activity, which cycles over approximately eleven years. The last climax was in 2013.

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In very Northern regions such as Alaska or Greenland, the Northern Lights may be visible most nights of the year. Actually, they can occur at any time of the day, but we can’t see them unless it’s dark.

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The very best moment for watching aurora is when the auroral arcs reach furthest toward the equator and the magnetic pole is in between the observer and the Sun. This special time is called magnetic midnight.

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There have been many famous and respected people trying to explain the phenomenon in history including Aristotle, Seneca, Descartes, Tycho de Brahe or Benjamin Franklin who theorized that the "mystery of the Northern Lights" was caused by a concentration of electrical charges in the polar regions intensified by the snow and moisture.

guardianlv.com Northern-Lights-on-Show-for-Next-Few-Daysguardianlv.com

SEE ALSO: 25 Harry Potter Facts That Will Knock You Off Your Broomstick »

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