The northern lights is a fascinating phenomenon which has captured our imaginations for millennia. There have been several fantastic stories invented through the ages to explain these ‘strange lights in the sky’: from the spirits of the dead to reflections off the armour of the Valkyries.

Of course we now understand the real science behind this ‘magical’ event – and the truth is just as fascinating as the old myths and legends.

How the northern lights work

  1. Solar flares fire charged particles from the Sun towards the Earth.
  2. The charged particles are attracted by Earth’s magnetic poles.
  3. The colours appear when the particles collide with Earth’s atmosphere.

What the colours mean
Different colours are created as the particles collide with different molecules at each layer of the atmosphere:

  • Red Lights – occur at altitudes above 150 miles.
  • Green Lights – occur at altitudes above 100 miles.
  • Purple lights – occur at altitudes above 60 miles.
  • Blue lights – occur at altitudes below 60 miles.

When to view the northern lights

  • 1 hour before midnight.
  • February to March.
  • Cloudless sky.
  • Full moon for vivid images.

For more information about the northern lights, please don’t hesitate to contact our team of experts today.