It is a well-known fact that Iceland has many exciting landscapes. As you visit the beautiful country of Iceland, you are bound to get your fair share of adventure. Iceland outperforms everybody else when it comes to the variety of explorations that you can experience. Iceland’s beautiful country is blessed with some of the most amazing natural wonders in the world. And certainly one of them is the Northern Lights. The wide view of light, dancing in the wild night sky is really a gorgeous sight. The collective viewing experience of watching the beautiful natural phenomena, especially in the company of others is truly a once in a lifetime experience.
You will be overwhelmed to learn the various activities that you can do in this country of fire and ice. You can experience the Northern Lights that is a magnificent display of lights in the sky. The fascinating sight of the light, reflecting beautiful visuals in the sky is truly a sight to behold. You are bound to find peace as the evening spreads out, all bright and glittering, against the titanic mountains of Iceland. There are numerous tour operators that offer services to the Northern Lights and ensure to make your vacation memorable. So, if you are having a hard time deciding the destinations to explore in the majestic country of Iceland, then the Northern Lights could be a great thing to start with. Visit Iceland this holidays and cherish the memories for the rest of your life.
What causes the Northern Lights?
The Northern Light is a natural phenomenon that is caused by disturbances in the magnetosphere due to solar wind. This was first explained by a Norwegian scientist named Kristian Birkeland.
He explained that Aurora is the astounding consequence of a sequence of events that initiate at the sun. Collisions between electrically charged particles coming from the sun cause the formation of lights. The superheated molecules of gas on the surface of the sun are extremely volatile. At regular intervals, charged electrons and protons escape the sun’s gravity. These solar eruptions cause the solar wind, i.e. the hot plasma that blows into space which then travels on the way to the Earth.
These particles crash with the magnetic field of the Earth, which makes most of them bounce back. However, the asymmetrical shape of the magnetic field makes some particles get through the shield in the regions where it is weaker. This passing through of particles occurs around the magnetic poles. Once the particles enter the Earth’s atmosphere, they interact with the gas atoms. This triggers the discharge of energy and light. Hence, observed as a multi-colored light show in the night sky.
The form of the lights differs depending upon a lot of factors. It changes from stripes to arcs or curves. Also, the extent of its movement changes as well. The lights are directed according to the shape of the magnetic field of the Earth that changes at regular intervals. The phenomenon of the Northern Lights is often comprised of various shapes during the night. It varies from arc to long bands that can change within a few minutes. Interestingly, this phenomenon is not just observed on Earth but also on Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune, and Saturn as well.
How can you observe the Northern Lights?
The chance to observe the Northern Lights is a once in a lifetime opportunity. And you need to make sure that it is special. But sadly, only being in Iceland does not ensure that you will get to experience the vivid sight of the majestic Northern Lights. They do not occur throughout the year. Also, the winter season does not guarantee the appearance of the Northern Lights. Thus, to be able to experience the phenomenon of the Northern Lights, you need to keep a few factors in mind.
If you wish to see the Aurora, late November and early April may be the perfect time to visit Iceland.
The Solar Activity also plays a major role in the appearance of Aurora. As the Earth is persistently submerged in the solar wind, but a certain threshold needs to be crossed to cause that can trigger the discharge of lights in the night sky. Often, the opportunity to experience the Northern Lights can prove to be a matter of luck as the Solar activity is not something that we can predict absolutely nor do we have any influence over it. The Aurora is only visible for a few minutes if the solar activity is low, and vice versa.
The location where you decide to experience the Northern Light can also have an impact on its visibility. You might see the Aurora from the middle of a city, but the experience would not be as good. It would be better to watch the splendid view from somewhere dark. It is recommended to go to an even surface that has no buildings or high mountains to block the view. Also, make sure that there is no artificial lights around that can interfere with the experience of Aurora-watching. A large park or a hilltop located on the outskirts of the city or somewhere in the distant countryside could be the ideal spot for experiencing the Northern Lights.
How to pack for Northern Lights in Iceland?
Iceland is cold throughout the year. The wintertime in Iceland lasts between November and March. The temperature here drops below -10°C and extends to +10°C. As in the Northern Lights tour, you will end up spending the majority of your time outdoors, standing around waiting and doing a very minimum movement, choosing the right clothing is very important. Bring along warm clothes that will protect you against the harsh cold of the mountainous regions of Iceland. Superior quality clothes are recommended to experience Iceland in comfort.
Your Iceland travel kit must comprise a wool vest, warm under layers, warm hat, gloves, and waterproof pants. Don’t forget the reusable pocket warmers or waist warmers that can prove to be a great item to have handy during the cold winds. Also, pack waterproof trekking boots and crampons for the rough terrains of Iceland.