The thrill of Aurora watching

Have you ever been to Santa’s land? Have you ever seen a giant frozen lake in the middle of winter? Have you ever experienced long winter night under a clear night sky? Have you ever wished to see an Aurora? Here is your chance to have a completely unforgetting experience of the dark night sky.

Everybody has seen a lot of pictures from a “strange” light that overwhelms the sky from time to time, but not a lot of people have a chance to view it in person from the place of the event. Why is that? Because Auroras (polar lights) are usually happening around the Earth’s poles, areas that are not so populated, due to the harsh and cold weather or to the ocean that is there. For the Auroras (Borealis – the Northers polar lights and Australis – the Southern polar lights) to be visible from a more populated places the energy and radiation coming from the Sun has to be enormus when it hits the Earth’s magnetic field.

Poster of aurora borealis images. Source; Wikipedia

Auroras are the result of charged particles of the solar wind interacting with the Earth’s upper atmosphere – the ionosphere. The charged particles from the Sun interact with the atmospheric particles and are funneled down and accelerated along the Earth’s magnetic field lines. Usually the Auroras turn to be green due to the interaction with the Oxygen molecules in the upper atmosphere, but they can get pink, red, yellow and blue.

Because it is usually occurring at very high latitudes you have to be either from the few lucky people that leave near the Polar circles or to go on purpose to some very Northern or Southern latitudes to be able to observe it. People that have seen Auroras are always amazed by the shows they create. When you see on the night sky something else besides clouds, stars, Moon and the planets (the common objects out there) you tend to get different emotions, since it looks that something strange and unnatural is happening.

2013 can be the year that the Auroras will be the best in years. Solar activity is getting to its maximum, so the chance to observe an Aurora are much greater. The greater the Solar activity is the more striking and beautiful the Aurora shows are. Anyway just to be out there in the Arctic circle in the middle of winter, seeing all those snowy landscapes, experience really long nights and be with a lot of astronomy and space enthusiasts is a gift on its own.

I’ve seen a Solar Eclipse and was one of the best things I have witnessed in my life. I know that the Aurora sighting experience can cope with that. It can be just a great adventure waiting to happen.