The Northern Lights are a rare and beautiful spectacle to see. Picture the clouds conjuring a magic spell, which showers mists of greens, blues, pinks and purples into swirling patterns, painting the sky and bathing the silhouettes of the scenery. They have the ability to completely captivate those that stand beneath them and you will never forget experiencing such an elusive wonder.
The Northern Lights are also known as the Aurora Borealis, and are created when charged particles that are formed through solar winds collide with the elements in the magnetosphere. The different colours occur depending on the altitude at which certain atoms are hit.
Catching this miraculous vision of cascading ethereal light is no easy feat though, as it relies on there being strong solar activity and quite specific conditions. This is why it is best to plan carefully ahead for the ideal destination and time of year you go, giving yourself the best chances.
The most opportunistic conditions to see the Northern Lights are when the skies are dark and clear, and therefore from December until February is a good time of year due to the long hours of darkness. It is worth noting also however, that other times of year, such as spring and autumn can be good if you do not mind staying up a little later, as the weather conditions are generally more stable.
The areas of the world where you will find the Northern Lights are known as a part of the auroral oval, which covers the arctic and sub-arctic. The most popular destinations in Europe are Norway and Iceland.
The likeliness of spotting the Aurora Borealis is heightened by the determination of magnetic latitude of specific places. The higher this is in the area you are visiting, the more chance there is of catching the luminous wisps.
Rural areas and traveling aboard boats that can find the right latitudes, whilst also avoiding any light pollution are other great ways to increase the possibility of finding yourself adrift below the movements of this mystical miracle.
Seeing the Northern Lights is something everyone should try and see at least once in their life. It is a trip that takes a lot of patience, knowledge of the perfect conditions, and some luck too. Given all the complications to seeing the Northern Lights, it is much easier to see them on an escorted tour. You will feel a sense of complete escape and tranquility as you delve into the natural world at its most spectacular.