Aurora or the Roman Goddess of Dawn is a spectacular natural phenomenon which occurs at the high Northern or Southern latitudes, around the magnetic poles. Their history dates back to 1619 when the astronomer and traveler Galileo Galilei first named this glorious occurrence. Some 30,000 years back their paintings were found in cave paintings of France. Pairs of colossal spheres of dazzling light, sometimes several times the size of earth’s diameter, occur near the poles and make hours of sky-watching worth. To see and capture this nature’s show of dazzling dancing lights is the most coveted dream of many. The subsequent facts will make you set your heart on visiting the poles for Aurora hunting before you give up your ghost.
1. They can be seen from space and the view is absolutely spellbinding!
They occur at the same level as the International Space Station and overwhelm the astronauts with its dazzling show. The auroral panoramas recorded, shows a blanket of striking green covering the magnetic poles of the Earth. Their oval shape is distinguishable from space. These lights are so brilliant that their activity can also be observed from another planet. Imagine what it must be like, to fly right through these magnificent shapes!
2. Two Northern lights can never be identical
There comes, with the Northwind, the Roman goddess of the dawn forming small patches of light that appear out of nowhere to streamers, arcs, rippling curtains or shooting rays that light up the sky with the auroras in the night sky. Different ions and gases produce an array of green, red, blue, violet, pink lights. They take many forms and colors and they differ in either color or pattern or both.
3. They come unexpected dancing and swaying in the night sky
Aurora follows a Sunspot cycle of 11-years. The electrical and magnetic forces react with one another to form an enigmatic assortment of colors. The “dancing” is due to the constant rearrangement of the way they react. Sometimes, away from the city, when the Solar storm activity is vigorous, sounds like crackle, claps can also be heard. But one cannot find them at a specific time or day. Although from regions like Alaska and Greenland, they can be observed quite frequently at any time of the year, the chances of observing the most spectacular display in 2015 are very high.
4. You can check its probability of appearance
Using GPS, you can easily check the probability of their occurrence in your area or elsewhere. So, while you are driving to the apt location, make sure you muffle up warm and keep your GPS on.
5. Northern Lights steal the attention from the Aurora Australis
It is observed that Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis occur as mirror-image, at the same time together, producing similar shapes. However, Aurora Australis or Southern lights are prominently visible over the southern Indian Ocean and Antarctica which leaves you with the only option of choosing Northern Lights. If there is a strong Solar storm, their visibility further south increases. Sometimes they can be spotted in places south from Australia, Mexico, Cuba. Though, the best view of these displays can be observed from North America or Europe.
6. The darker the moon, the better it is!
If you are somewhere near Iceland, Northern Europe(including Sweden, Finland), all that you need is an elevated stargazing sight away from the city lights, dark and clear night sky, and some patience. That is not much of an effort, because when these appear, you will be absolutely rooted to your spot. The chances of sighting them are made sure only 30 minutes before they appear. If you are intrigued by the mysteries of nature and serious about Aurora-watching, make it a part of your North trip. The awe had left all its watchers flabbergasted in the past and will do no less to you!