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The Northern Lights or Norðurljós are some of the most beautiful skylight shows in the world. The shows are visible from Iceland during the months of September up to March on clear nights. It has known to be spotted in the early summer months too! Northern Lights is commonly referred to as Aurora Borealis.
Northern Lights take place at heights of 60-150 miles above earth’s surface where the atmosphere is very thin. The lights are amazingly formed by particles that have been electrically charged making the air glitter and shimmer with colour. The name Aurora Borealis means “Dawn of the North.”
The primary colours seen in the Northern Lights in Iceland are green and white. Nonetheless, the colours often vary with change in the composition of the atmosphere in different latitudes. When the pressure is low usually at high altitudes, a reddish variant glow appears. The red light is caused by oxygen molecules. At low altitudes, the oxygen molecules produce a glow of a greenish shade with a red border that is a result of the collision of nitrogen molecules with particles.
The spectacular show is caused by electricity. Auroras are created from the interaction of solar wind which has a magnetic force and magnetosphere from the earth.
In simple terms, solar winds carry highly charged particles in the form of electrons and protons which escape from the sun. The particles then interact with the earth’s atmosphere and magnetic field.
Some of the particles escape from the radial movement into the atmosphere of the earth. The escaped particles hit molecules in the air causing a series of collisions. When the molecules are hit causing a type of friction, they glow forming auroras.
The Northern lights are an incredibly beautiful work of nature.