Today’s BEDN topic is Light, inspired by the fact its Diwali today. However the topic is not to write about Diwali itself, just light. I thought about this for some of yesterday and I was coming up a bit blank – a slightly off-topic post about how the children are the “light of my life” perhaps? Instead I’ve decided to write about the Northern Lights, something I would one day love to go and see properly.
To me the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis as it is officially called, is one of the most beautiful natural phenomenons there is. Though its something I have always wanted to see and known what it was, I honestly didn’t really know that much about it. As such, to do this post, I also did a little research.
An aurora is a natural light display in the sky particularly in the high latitude regions, caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere. In northern latitudes, the effect is known as the aurora borealis (or the northern lights). Auroras seen near the magnetic pole may be high overhead, but from farther away, they illuminate the northern horizon as a greenish glow or sometimes a faint red, as if the Sun were rising from an unusual direction. (Source Wikipedia)
According to a Guardian article that I found, there are many places to view the northern lights. Canada, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Alaska, Finland, Greenland and even Scotland are all places people travel to in order to see the lights. Of course, seeing the actual lights is largely dependent on luck and often if you’ve traveled somewhere you are limited by time. I suppose this above all things is what puts me off booking a holiday specifically to see the lights, on the chance that you might spend all that money and not actually see what you came for.
However the lights usually work on an 11 year cycle, some phases being brighter than others. Perhaps one day I will plan a trip and take the risk. I imagine its one of the most breathtaking and magical things you can ever witness.