NORTHERN LIGHTS – AURORA BOREALIS

Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) is a natural phenomenon that originates from storms on the surface of the sun, which hurl loaded particles into space. These particles are electrons and protons, which form light when they collide with gasses in the Earth’s atmosphere. This interaction, which forms the light we can see on Earth, occurs at an altitude of between 90 and 180 km above the ground. This natural phenomenon can be observed in a belt that stretches round the Magnetic North Pole.

Reisastua is located in the middle of this Northern Lights Belt, which provides our guests with excellent chances of experiencing this fantastic, natural phenomenon first hand. In this area, humans have for thousands of years observed the Northern Lights, which every so often light up the night sky during winter.

Throughout history, many stories and theories have been used to explain the Northern Lights, but the final explanation came only about a century ago. It was actually a Norwegian scientist by the name of Kristian Birkeland (1867-1917)whose experiments in a vacuum chamber with electron beams and magnetised spheres, showed that such electrons would be guided towards the polar regions.

To this day, the Northern Lights continue to fascinate people and Reisastua Wilderness Lodge is proud to offer guests the opportunity to experience this mysterious, natural phenomenon in one of the world’s last wilderness areas.

The colours of the Northern Lights are determined by the gases in the Earth’s atmosphere, and incoming solar particles tend to collide with different gases at different heights. Most outbreaks of the Northern Lights are green, but every so often you will see tinges of pink or white around the edges. An even rarer occurrence is violet in the centre. The Northern Lights can sometimes have blue-green tinges or on other occasions the colour is closer to a mixture of green and yellow. It is extremely rare to see red Northern Lights. However, this does occur when the Northern Lights occur at a higher altitude than normal.

Above 180 km – Nitrogen molecules and oxygen atoms create red right.
Between 120 km and 180 km – oxygen atoms create bright green light.
Below 120km – Nitrogen molecules create violet light.

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