The Northern Lights in Iceland, Europe. Picture: paradise/Instagram
The Northern Lights in Iceland, Europe. Picture: paradise/Instagram

Instagram Pic of the week: Iceland

By Mpho Rantao Time of article published Nov 1, 2018

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Here’s an interesting fact: the northern lights come in various colours like blue, green, pink, violet, yellow and red.

Aurora Borealis, or commonly known as the northern lights, are  the result of collisions between gaseous particles in the Earth's atmosphere with charged particles released from the sun's atmosphere.

In layman’s terms, it’s gas that has leaked from the sun’s atmosphere that surrounds the Earth’s stratosphere, through different gas types like oxygen or nitrogen.

Anyway, back to the point of the Instagram picture that was taken in Iceland.

The Northern Lights are a popular phenomenon that attracts a lot of people to travel to Iceland and catch a glimpse of them during various parts of the year.

The Northern Lights in Iceland are visible for 8 months out of the year, from early September to the end of April.

The Northern Lights are at their best around midnight in Icelandic time, when the sky is very dark and clear, that way spectators get to see the lights in their full form, stretching as long as 80 kilometres and as high as 640 kilometres above the earth’s surface.

Here’s another interesting fact: Aurora Borealis also occurs near the South Pole, but it is known as Aurora australis.

Unlike the Northern Lights which stretch as long as 80 kilometres - meaning you can see them from Iceland, Greenland and Alaska - the Southern lights are only visible from Antarctica because that is where the sky is at its most clear in the Earth’s atmosphere.


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