The northern lights, also known as Aurora Borealis, have been captivating people for centuries. With its stunning swirls of colors and unpredictable nature, it’s no wonder that tourists flock to the northernmost parts of the world to witness this natural phenomenon in person. In this article, we will delve deeper into what nova lights are, what causes them, and where you can witness them in all their glory.
What are Nova Lights?
Nova lights are a stunning natural light display that occurs in the polar regions of the world, mainly in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. These lights offer a mesmerizing display of colors and patterns that can brighten the darkest of nights. Nova lights are formed when charged particles from the sun enter the Earth’s atmosphere and collide with gases, such as oxygen and nitrogen, creating a beautiful spectrum of colors.
What Causes Nova Lights?
The sun is constantly emitting charged particles, known as solar wind. When these particles reach the Earth’s magnetic field, they are pulled towards the poles, where the magnetic field is strongest. As they enter the Earth’s atmosphere, they collide with gas particles, creating energy in the form of light. Depending on the altitude and the type of gas particle involved in the collision, different colors can be seen. The most common colors in nova lights are green, yellow, and pink.
The Science Behind the Colors of Nova Lights
When charged particles collide with oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere at an altitude of about 60 miles, they emit a yellow-green light, which is the most common color seen in nova lights. When charged particles collide with oxygen at an altitude of about 200 miles, they emit a red light, which is much rarer to see. The pink and purple colors in nova lights are caused by charged particles colliding with nitrogen.
Where to See Nova Lights?
The best places to view nova lights are in the polar regions of the world, such as Alaska, Norway, Canada, Finland, and Iceland. To witness this natural phenomenon, you need to head to a location that is far away from city lights, where the sky is dark enough to provide an unobstructed view. The best time to see nova lights is during the winter months when the nights are longer and darker.
Preparation for Viewing Nova Lights
To enjoy the best viewing experience, you should dress warmly in layers to keep yourself comfortable and to stay out longer. Additionally, bring a warm hat, gloves, and socks to protect your extremities from the cold. A good camera and tripod will help you capture the perfect shot of the amazing display.