Northern Lights: – Good Opportunities: – Unusually many Northern Lights

Northern Lights: – Good Opportunities: – Unusually many Northern Lights

– On average, the northern lights are highest around the fall equinox and spring equinox, writes Paul Brekke, head of space research at the Norwegian Space Center, in an email.

During the fall and spring equinoxes, Earth's magnetic poles are at right angles to the flow of the solar wind, which makes the solar wind and solar storms more effective, Bracke explains. This becomes an optimal condition for receiving charged particles from the Sun, thus creating the strongest northern lights.

Color Play: The Northern Lights play out over Canada, the United States and Mexico in this video from NASA. It shows the Northern Lights as seen from the International Space Station. Video: NASA/Reuters.
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The Northern Lights are created when storms of charged particles from the Sun hit the Earth's magnetic field. The particles move towards the polar regions inwardly of the magnetic field. When solar particles hit the air in the atmosphere, they create the light we see in the sky.

Brekke stresses, however, that there is no guarantee that the Northern Lights will be lit around the equinox. Everything depends on the sun.

– The activity of the northern lights follows the activity cycle of the sun. Every eleven years, the Sun undergoes a period of maximum activity, known as the solar maximum, followed by a five-year quiescent period, known as the solar minimum. There are many solar storms during solar maximum, and fewer during solar minimum.

In conclusion, he inspires hope for serious northern lights hunters.

– Now that we're nearing the solar maximum, we've experienced an unusual amount of northern lights this winter.

Joshi Akinjide

Joshi Akinjide

"Music geek. Coffee lover. Devoted food scholar. Web buff. Passionate internet guru."

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