The Northern Lights are one of the most unusual atmospheric phenomena. Iceland indeed is an appropriate and one of the best places to see it with your own eyes. The Northern Lights stain the sky in many colors from the predominant green, through blue, red, pink and purple to the white finish. Let’s have a closer look at the wonder of the Auroras Borealis.
What is Northern Lights?
The Northern Lights or Auroras (from Latin: Aurora Borealis) are a phenomenon of lights- a kind of fluorescence resulting from the collision of strips in the Earth’s magnetic field of charged particles from the sun with molecules of atmospheric gases. This causes the discharge of kinetic energy taking the form of light emission.
In most cases, you can only see the aurora in the light green color. It is caused by the poor sensitivity of the eye to the colors in low light (night). You will be only able to see the beautiful colorful stripes on photos only.
When to look for Northern Lights in Iceland?
The official season for the Auroras Borealis lasts from October to March. Sometimes it happens that the lights appear much earlier. In previous years they are documented already in August. There are certain conditions necessary for the norther lights to be seen by human eye. The sky needs to be clean, with no clouds no rain and no wind. Long winter nights are conductive to its occurrence. You should than be prepared to get a bit cold waiting for them to show up. Most of the people who had the honor of seeing the Northern Lights say that they saw them during late night hours and more specifically between 21pm and 1am. This is however not a rule.
Where is it best to see the Northern Lights?
Is is best for you to look for auroras in places far from the sources of lights. It is then worth to leave Reykjavik and head north. One of the most picturesque places where we can observe the Northern Lights In Iceland is the Jokulsarlon glacier.
There are many organized tours outside the city to explore the Auroras Borealis. Many tourists’ agencies in Iceland specialize in this type of expedition. They know best when where and what time you should be ready to observe this phenomenon.
It is also not worth falling asleep during an overnight flight to Iceland (back or forth). Better look through the window of the plane from time to time. You might be able to see green waves in the dark sky.
The other magical place for the show of shining colors are the sandy beaches of the southern coast near Vik, with the waves rippling around the ocean.
The Phenomenon Of The Auroras Borealis In Iceland
In anticipation of the Northern Lights
What to take with you? Well, good camera, tripod and lots of patience! You should remember that the occurrence of the Aurora phenomenon is so special because it is unpredictable and it is difficult to predict exactly when it will show up on the sky. That is why you have to prepare yourself for a long wait. You should take a thermos with hot coffee or tea to warm up from time to time. Do not forget about the warm clothes as well as the night here can get really chilly.
Year by year, thousands of tourists come to Iceland for that one reason. We all dream about seeing the beautiful Auroras Borealis in Iceland dancing in the sky, at least once in our lives. Remember, if you are not able to see the Northern Lights then certainly the trip to Iceland will become one of the unforgettable and magical holiday experience. It is in Iceland that searching is more valuable than gaining!