Some of the most magical moments in northern Norway is said to take place under the northern lights, both in fairytale and real life. Even for us living here the Auroras can be a mighty magnificent sight... But what causes the Aurora Borealis?
NORTHERN LIGHTS FROM A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
Once upon a time.. there was a lot of mystique and myths to tell tales about the northern lights. The folklore is traditionally strong in Norway and stories have been told from mother to daugther and so on. The kids were told to never to wave or whistle at the northern lights, because it would come and get you. Another known version is if you wave at the northern lights with a white kerchief, the northern lights will wave back.
The folklore also says that the northern lights were the sould of deceased women, in particularly fair maidens. The sami people would summon the northern lights as their god to help with conflicts. In Finmark they even said that children born under the northern lights were born with special skills.
In norse mythologi they call the "bridge" between the worlds of humans and Gods. It's common to think that it was the rainbow that is meant, but some also believe that the northern lights is what is called "Bifrost".
WHAT IS NORTHERN LIGHTS?
Northern lights, or the Aurora Borealis, occurs when particles from the sun hits our atmosphere. The state and processes here are strongly linked to the sun through its radiation and the outflow of electrical particles.
The strength and visibility of the northern lights depends on the solar activity. The sun shoots out huge gas clouds (solar winds) of varying strength, and sometimes it is stormy. Strong activity on the sun can give rise to very powerful northern lights three to four days afterwards.
The Earth is surrounded by a magnetic field - the magnetosphere - which (fortunately) protects against many of the high-energy particles. However, some particles come through the protective shield, giving rise to northern lights.
Northern lights range from 80 to 250 kilometers above the ground, and rarely up to 500-800 kilometers. The average for northern lights with maximum intensity is 110-200 kilometers; This varies from shape to shape. Since the northern lights are so far above all weather, this plays an important role in seeing the northern lights, depending on if it's cloudy or not.
WHEN AND WHERE CAN YOU SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS
Northern norway has some of the most beautiful landscapes to view the northern lights in! The northern lights are above the clouds so you need a clear night sky to see the phenomenen and as little light pollution as possible. There are apps available that will show you both where there are as little lightpollution as possible and also there are apps to show you when and where it is likely to see the northern lights. You're most likely to spot the Aurora Borealis in the hours before midnight, preferably with as little moon light as possible. You can see the northern lights all through the winter season.
You should preferably go outside cities where there are alot of lights- so Dyrøy and Senja will be a great choice to check out the magic of the Aurora. You can check out the light pollution map HERE
You can see the northern lights anywhere in both Senja and Dyrøy- and it can make a short apperance and dissapear again very shortly, or it can last all through the night. If you travel to Norway to see the northern lights you should stay for several days if you want to make sure that you'll get to see the northern lights- maybe you'll want to stay several places to explore both Senja and Dyrøy? Find you're perfect place to stay at HERE! Bring good clothes, patience and maybe a camera to capture the moment-
WELCOME TO THE SENJA REGION!