Week 11 : Mini Links : Let’s go to Svalbard, Norway, to see the Northern Lights!

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Svalbard, Norway
Photo by Innovation Norway

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Image credit: NASA’s IMAGE satellite

One of our dream destinations is Norway. And I am glad that in Norway, you can see the Northern Lights (another of our must – do’s in our lifetime).

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Image credit: Thundafunda.com.

I found out that an aurora is a natural light display in the sky particularly in the high latitude (Arctic and Antarctic) regions, caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere (thermosphere). The charged particles originate in the magnetosphere and solar wind and, on Earth, are directed by the Earth’s magnetic field into the atmosphere.

All that was incredibly complicated to me and I prefer to just know that they are miraculous and beautiful. That’s enough for me.

But for all of you who are cleverer than me and like to know more : In northern latitudes, the effect is known as the aurora borealis (or the northern lights). Its southern counterpart, the aurora australis (or the southern lights), has almost identical features to the aurora borealis and changes simultaneously with changes in the northern auroral zone and is visible from high southern latitudes in Antarctica, South America, New Zealand, and Australia.

I never knew you can see it in the Southern part of the world too!

You can see  the Northern Lights in a few countries – Alaska, Denmark, Scotland, Canada, Greenland, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Sweden.

Svalbard is a large but sparsely populated archipelago, home to just 2,400 people as well as polar bears, reindeer, walruses and seals. There may not be roads in the conventional sense, but its capital, Longyearbyen, on the island of Spitsbergen, has a comfortable hotel called Trapper’s, with slate floors, rustic wood and sealskins. Better yet, its lounge has a roof set with vast observatory windows through which to watch the northern lights without having to brave the literally Arctic temperatures outside. (www.cntraveller.com) 

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Trappers Hotel
Image Credit : http://www.tripadvisor.com

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Northern Lights near the town of Svovaer in the Lofoten Islands, Norway.
Image credit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com

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Northern Lights and stars in Alaska
Image credit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com

Have you seen the Northern Lights before? If so, what was your experience?

Fore more on travel, see here and here.

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