Search here...
Our Blue Planet

In search of the Polar Lights: Aurora, Aurora, where are you Aurora?

There are numerous of legends and stories about the natural phenomena but this is how Theia – Titan goddess of divine light and sight – would react if her daughter Aurora (Goddess of Dawn) – would not be showing up and dancing in what seems the perfect Arctic night.

If it would be so simple… unfortunately there are no guarantees that you will see the magical Polar Lights during your stay in the Arctic Circle but with the below information your chances will increase.


The collision of electrically charged particles from The Sun (solar wind) with oxygen & nitrogen atoms in the Earth’s upper atmosphere at very high speed create a natural light – aurora – in the night sky.

We speak of Aurora Borealis in the Northern Hemisphere; in the Southern Hemisphere the natural light is called Aurora Australis.


The magnetic field of the Earth directs a small amount of electrons – the majority of the electrically charged particles is released back in space – towards the geomagnetic polar areas so the best location to see the aurora is at The North & South Pole, within a radius of 2500 km (Auroral Zone)

Intensity & colors

  • Green: charged particles collide with oxygen atoms (100-300 km)
  • Red: collision with oxygen atoms but higher up in the atmosphere (300-400 km)
  • Pink: electrons hit nitrogen atoms (at +/- 100 km)
  • Blue/purple: the solar wind hits hydrogen & helium atoms

Ultraviolet & infrared light occur as well but are not visible with the human eye.

Photo by Lightscape on Unsplash

The intensity of the aurora depends on the strength of the solar wind.  The solar activity follows an 11 year cycle with solar maxima & solar minima. 

The Kp Index (1 – 9) gives a good idea of the geomagnetic activity level.

You also need a dark clear sky and as little light pollution as possible.


You can admire the magical lights from end August until April but statistically you have the best chance to see them in early Spring and early Fall. (equinoxes)

They usually appear between 5 pm and 2 am.

Check the forecast

Check out the website from the Space Weather Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Download any of the best Northern Lights forecast Apps like ‘Hello Aurora’ or ‘My Aurora Forecast’.

The next solar maxima years are 2024-2025… start planning & good luck!

Cover picture is a photo by Nicolas J Leclercq on Unsplash

Ventures by Sabrina



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *