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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Several agencies, such as NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, monitor solar activity and issue aurora alerts accessible to public so that people eager to watch the Northern Lights know when and where they can expect this impressive show

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Italian astronomer and philosopher Galileo Galilei was the first to describe the phenomenon as Aurora Borealis in 1619.

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Aurora Borealis have been a source of wonder for us for thousands of years. Drawings of the lights have even been found in ancient cave paintings in France dating back to 30,000 years ago.

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The Northern Lights have their southern counterpart, the Aurora Australis (or the Southern Lights) that can be seen from high southern latitudes in Antarctica, South America, New Zealand, and Australia.

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Although missing a magnetic field, an aurora-like phenomenon has been also observed on Venus. Scientists suggest it can be caused by the reaction between the solar wind and the ions in the Venus´ ionosphere.

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