Catching North­ern Lights

One of the most mag­i­cal places to take in a North­ern Light show is in Ice­land, a Nordic is­land na­tion which is of­ten de­fined by its dra­matic land­scape with vol­ca­noes, gey­sers, hot springs and lava fields.

Maxx-M - - COVER STORY -

Have you ever, as a kid, dreamt of sleep­ing un­der the danc­ing stars? Well, as an adult it is still on my bucket list of things to do, but only the danc­ing stars are the fa­mous North­ern Lights. If you are not fa­mil­iar with the term ‘The North­ern Lights,’ here is a short ex­pla­na­tion. The North­ern Lights are the re­sult of elec­tri­cally charged par­ti­cles from the sun col­lid­ing with gaseous par­ti­cles in the Earth’s at­mos­phere, caus­ing dis­plays of bright, colour­ful danc­ing lights, rang­ing from white, green, pink to pur­ple. They are vis­i­ble in the mag­netic po­lar re­gions of the north­ern and south­ern hemi­spheres. In the north­ern hemi­sphere, the lights are best seen from Ice­land, Green­land, north­ern Nor­way, Siberia, the Cana­dian ter­ri­to­ries and Alaska. And at this mo­ment, it seems that the North­ern Lights are one of the big­gest at­trac­tions for vis­it­ing Ice­land. How­ever, they are also one of the most elu­sive and un­pre­dictable at­trac­tions the coun­try has. There are lots of vari­ables to con­sider if you want to see them; sea­son, weather, the length of stay, lo­ca­tion, and luck. The best time to see the North­ern Lights in Ice­land is from Septem­ber to mid-April, these are the months where there are full­dark­nights.Th­esec­ond­mostim­por­tant­fac­tor is the length of time you choose to stay in the coun­try. For the best odds of see­ing the danc­ing lights, it is rec­om­mended to stay a min­i­mum of seven nights. The North­ern Lights usu­ally tend to be very ac­tive for two to three nights, then low for four to five nights, in on­go­ing cy­cles. Check­ing the weather fore­cast reg­u­larly in the days lead­ing to your trip to Ice­land will give you an idea of your chances of see­ing the lights - as to see it, the skies need to be very clear. That is also the rea­son why it is good to avoid the city. Once in a while, the North­ern Lights takes Reyk­javik the cap­i­tal city of Ice­land­by­surprise,andthe­yare­sostrongth­atthe city lights don’t mat­ter, but most of the time, it’s best to get away from all the street lights and car brights. There are many great small towns to visit around Ice­land with beau­ti­ful coun­try ho­tels and guest­houses, just steps from pure un-mod­ern­ized na­ture where there is no light pol­lu­tion. For more in­for­ma­tion visit www.visitice­land.com.

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