When the northern lights start dancing in the sky, it is always a festival, a firework of colors. Like heavenly messengers, they draw circles or strips of light, appear here and there, form waving curtains or let the night sky glow for a long time. They are mainly available in the colors neon green, but sometimes they also appear in orange or purple-red like flaming rollers of fire.
At first you don’t believe your eyes, you look twice. I have already experienced this light spectacle from the plane, shortly before Christmas on the approach to Rovaniemi. At first I thought it would be a reflection of the position light on the plane wing, but then suddenly the glow was everywhere.
In Kiruna (north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden) I was able to see it again from the ground two years later. The Finnish town Rovaniemi is also situated on the Arctic Circle and is also known as the capital of Santa Claus. Thousands of children write Santa every year from around the world and in many languages. The trolls and Christmas elves of “Joulupukki” are always trying to answer all these letters. However, you can also visit him personally in his enchanting winter residence, which is by no means a kitschy Disneyland. Also for adults a chance to feel lik a child again …
Sometimes you might not only hear about talk of northern lights, but also southern lights, which are basically the same. If they appear around the South Pole, they are called Aurora australis, in the northern latitudes around the North Pole, Aurora borealis. Here is a first impression: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orKZD_bhNDg
You can see them especially beautiful from the water, e.g. when traveling with a Hurtigruten ship along the coast of Norway. In the fjords and when the Sea is smooth, the phenomenon is also reflected on the water surface.
# How exactly are the Northern Lights created? Some researchers refer to it as a kind of “air kiss” that the sun sends towards the earth, where it becomes visible in the form of colored lights in the sky.
Physically, the following happens: The sun pushes a so-called solar wind (or sometimes solar storm) full of energetic particles, i.e. electrons, protons, and a little helium towards the earth. This solar wind needs around 18 hours to reach the earth’s magnetic field (magnetosphere). Anyway, the particles cannot reach the surface of the earth because here they meet magnetic field lines that are oriented to the north. In consequence the solar wind particles are thus directed around the magnetosphere.
When the energetic particles combine with earth’s own atoms, the northern lights are born. Mostly they are greenish; however, the color spectrum changes depending on the degree of oxygen connection. For optimal spotting you usually need a dark, clear sky, because this reaction takes place at a height of over 100 kilometers, well above the clouds shield.
Unfortunately, you cannot see the northern lights everywhere, because the earth’s magnetic field is not round, but looks more like an apple with openings at the top and bottom. The electrons are particularly attracted to these openings due to their magnetic charge and are directed to the poles by the magnetic field lines. There they collide with the earth’s own atoms. Interestingly, the northern lights are visible at both ends of the world at the same time. So when you see the Northern Lights in Norway, the sky over the South Pole changes the color at the same time. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polarlicht (in German language only).
Despite all these findings, the aurora has not yet been fully explored. For example, it is not yet possible to predict their occurrence with any degree of certainty. In addition, the aurora can cause significant disruptions in technical systems on earth and cause power outages. Understandably, many people in the past were afraid of them or had lot’s of respect of this natural phenomenon. Especially in the Middle Ages, reddish colors were considered a prophecy for war and bloodshed. As of today, the Sami people still believe that the Northern Lights should only be talked about in the dark because they are the wandering souls of the dead.
Though, have a look how beautiful it looks when the sun’s excess energy hits the earth’s magnetic field:
One of the first researchers to study the formation of the northern lights at the beginning of the 19th century was the Norwegian physicist Kristian Birkeland. Today the University of Tromso tries to create northern lights artificially in order to get even closer to their essence.
# Here you will find the best aurora spots worldwide from October till February, including tour offers:
- ICELAND – In the land of hot springs and waterfalls, the northern lights are statistically most commonly seen.
- ALASKA – Many (day) tours start from Anchorage. The Eagle River Nature Center is probably one of the best places.
- CANADA – The Jasper National Park and the Wood-Buffalo National Park are ideal for spotting, as these are so-called light protection areas.
- SWEDEN – Kiruna or Lulea offer pure Lapland feeling. Glide along in a dog sled or snowmobile during the day, in the evening enjoy elk sausage or reindeer burger by the campfire under the northern light sky. My tip: the small town of Abisco near the ESA station “ESRANGE”, where weather satellites are shot into space occassionally.
- NORWAY – Tromso is considered the gateway to the Arctic. Here seals and whales can be seen frequently and of course there is also an aurora adventure camp.
- SPITZBERGEN – (Svalbard) The capital Longyearbyen has the “most-northern airport in the world”. With a bit of luck you can even see the northern lights here during the day.
- FINLAND – It is best to sleep in a glass igloo under “the starry sky” near Rovaniemi (capital of Lapland); definitely a great place to see the Northern Lights.
- SCOTLAND – No wonder, since the Isle of Skye is located on the same latitude as Alaska (!) The further north you go, the greater the chance to watch the “Mirrie Dancers”, as the Scots call the Aurora.
- IRELAND – The green magic on the green island? Likewise, e.g. in the Donegal area.
- And even in GERMANY – You sometimes may experience the northern lights. There are up to 20 reports of aurora sightings per year. In 2014 you could even see them in Berlin because the sun was at the peak of its activity cycle ‘, which means that the northern lights are/ were particularly strong. Usually this happens every eleven years. So the chances are not particularly good again until 2025.
Well, aurora light spotting is nothing for “softies”, because the temperature in Scandinavia during the winter is often below -20 degrees C in the evening/ during the night. Even if you get a hot drink, it gets cold within two minutes, and is even freezing in the mug after four minutes – brrr. Once you return to the house, taking a hot shower is usually not enough to warm up sustainably; you quickly get cold again. It is much more beneficial to spend 15 minutes in the sauna, which is available in every house, hotel or even a hotel-room. In my case I had to stay fit, because I had registered to take part in the “Lappland-Olympics” the next day, … but that’s another story.
So – stay brave, which for the known reasons will also apply to 2021. Lockdown and ban of parties/ festivals/ club-events – and now lapsing into resignation? No way, I clearly say STOP. Especially now I really need a quantity of “stardust” for my home spa. Golden moments are always my choice for New Years Eve. This year, however, not on fancy pralines or inside a glass of champagne, but on my head. On one hand with the Ahuhu Gold Shampoo, on the other hand with Ahuhu Gold Shine Hairspray.
But the delicately scented shampoo not only contains gold particles in combination with high-quality peptides, it also cares and repairs damaged winter hair thanks to hyaluronic acid, urea and panthenol.
The Luxury Shine Spray with nourishing argan oil (of course silicone-free) offers a delicate gold glow, but also a strong hold for every style without sticking to the hair. Both real brilliant achievements! https://www.asambeauty.com/ahuhu-gold-limited-luxury-shine-shampoo-23310.html
And even better as perfect extra: the hair perfume “Warm Cashmere” with nourishing panthenol not only enchants with its powdery, oriental scent, but also actively neutralizes unpleasant odors thanks to encapsulation technology. I.e. the hair always smells like freshly washed. I love the composition of bergamot, rose, patchouli, vanilla and caramel. I’m generous when spraying and don’t just limit myself to the hair. It smells seductive on the skin too – a festival of senses. Alternatively, there is also an exotic fragrance variant consisting of lily of the valley, jasmine, sandalwood and vanilla. https://www.asambeauty.com/ahuhu-fresh-hair-fragrance-100ml.html
More information about all ASAM BEAUTY and Ahuhu products can be found e.g. at: https://www.asambeauty.com/haare.html
(New Year’s Eve) fireworks with a difference … whether as a fluorescent natural spectacle or shiny hair cosmetics – HAPPY NEW YEAR!