Can You See Northern Lights? Well, I've decided Finland is my best bet to see the Northern Lights. Besides I want to meet the real Santa Claus and Rudolf!
I know. I live right in Canada, and not too far from Alaska. Can you see Northern Lights from here? My research tells me it's iffy -- hit and miss. Besides the aurora borealis is moving from above Canada to Siberia! Let me explain.
What are northern lights made of? What actually causes northern lights, or the aurora borealis (Latin for "northern dawn"), are solar winds basically hitting the Earth's magnetic field.
The result looks like bands, clouds and rays of green, red and blue lights in the night sky and occur in an oval around the north magnetic pole. Still sounds like magic to me! The Cree call this phenomenon the "Dance of the Spirits".
When looking into northern lights facts I found that in 1989 auroras showed up as far south as Key West, Florida and the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico!
Can you see northern lights from Mexico? Not usually. So people were calling the police thinking it was an alien invasion! Really!
Within 90 seconds of the aurora's reaching the skies above Quebec, Canada, magnetic storms caused a province-wide blackout, leaving six million Canadians without power for hours! Compasses were gyrating all over the place and there were reports of automatic garage doors opening and closing on their own. Radio transmissions and coastal nagivation systems were disrupted, and info. feeds from satellites were temporarily lost.
Can you see northern lights? Some people have reported even hearing them! People in northern Europe and North America have long told of hissing or crackling sounds that occasionally accompany the show, but when they've tried to record the sounds, it doesn't work! Eery! I just picture hearing major static cling!
NASA actually blasted off their THEMIS mission on February 17, 2007 with the purpose of discovering the exact origin of the aurora borealis! They had five space crafts flying into different positions between the Earth and the Sun.
They measured the interaction between the solar wind and the Earth's magnetosphere. Some of the energy created by this interaction is what causes the magnetic field lines to stretch and snap like rubber bands -- we see the snaps as beautiful auroras.
It was a two-year mission and on the ground stations in Canada and Alaska photographed the multi-colored phenomena. "The northern lights provide visible evidence of the Earth's magnetosphere protecting us from the fatal effects of the solar wind," said Frank Snow, NASA THEMIS mission manager.
Aurora australis is the name of the southern lights at the south pole, displays are symmetrical on north and south poles. In 2007, THEMIS "found evidence of magnetic ropes connecting Earth's upper atmosphere directly to the sun," reconfirming the theory of solar-terrestrial electrical interaction (via "Birkeland currents" or "field-aligned currents") proposed by Kristian Birkeland circa 1908. NASA also likened the interaction to a "30 kiloVolt battery in space," noting the "flux rope pumps 650,000 Amp current into the Arctic!"
According to Wiki, on February 26, 2008, THEMIS probes were able to figure out, for the first time, the event that triggers the onset of magnetospheric substorms that precede our aurora borealis.
Two of the five probes, positioned approximately one third the distance to the Moon, measured events suggesting a magnetic reconnection event 96 seconds prior to Auroral intensification.
How cool is that?!
Dr. Vassilis Angelopoulos of the University of California, Los Angeles, who is the principal investigator for the THEMIS mission, claimed, "Our data show clearly and for the first time that magnetic reconnection is the trigger." Magnetic Reconnection -- sounds romantic!
Want to see "Northern Lights on Steroids?" Check out this site: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/03/070330-jupiter-picture.html.
It is a compilation of several x-ray images taken by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and images from the latest Hubble Space Telescope of Jupiter's amazing auroras! Planetary scientist Randy Gladstone of the Southwest Research Institute of Texas says that, "Jupiter has auroras bigger than our entire planet."
According to Joe Stoner, a palemagnetist (did you even know there was such a job title? I didn't!) from Oregon State University, the North Magnetic Pole is moving 25 miles per year (40 kilometers) and over the past century it has moved 685 miles (1,100 kilometers) from Arctic Canada towards Siberia. He said it could move over Siberia in the next half century, and that the acceleration is something that hasn't happened in the last 500 years, but it is likely a normal oscillation of the Earth's magnetic field.
Can you see northern lights from Siberia now? Probably. I just don't want to go to Siberia!
Can you see northern lights from Scandinavia? My research on northern lights says that's the best place overall, with the highest probability of seeing the Northern Lights in action. I considered Norway, but Norway has mountains and I would have to climb. I don't like to climb, except for just hiking.
So Finland wins!
First Class Dirt Cheap Vacation to see Northern Lights in Finland
Can you see northern lights in Finland? I hope to sitting by the sea instead of climbing a mountain! I'll just sit there between 11pm and 2am watching.
Besides, I really want to meet Santa Claus and all the reindeer! You can meet him on any day of the year, without any charge, only in Finland! Reindeers live in Finland, too! At the Arctic Circle, Santa Claus has a post office of his own and the world's only Main Santa Post Office. I want to go to the Santa Amusement Park, too!
I'm going to get to Lapland to watch for the Northern Lights by Husky Safari! Why not!? Sounds like great fun!
Where am I going to stay? At a first class resort in Saariselka in the heart of the Finnish Lapland. I'll have my choice of hiking, cross-country skiing and dog-sledding. I'll be able to come home to my own fireplace and an indoor pool, with nearby restaurants, and live entertainment.
How much? Bet you can't guess!
Ah, you're right! About $200 per week! I'm not kidding!
Honestly I can't think of many things more romantic than sitting all bundled up together by the sea in Finland, watching Mother Nature's natural fireworks show unfold above us, throwing dancing reflections on the water!
Can you see northern lights any better?
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