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Northern Lights

Lapland is an ideal place to see northern lights due to its location in the Arctic Circle

The aurora borealis, more commonly referred to as the northern lights, is a natural phenomenon that occurs when solar activity releases a cloud of gas that is drawn into the earth’s magnetic fields, creating charged particles that collide with oxygen and nitrogen atoms in the upper atmosphere.

The results of these cosmic collisions are glowing emissions of swirling, colourful lights that are easily visible to the human eye on clear winter nights at higher latitudes, when the activity is high. Places near or above the Arctic Circle -- such as Lapland, northern Norway, Greenland and Iceland -- are ideal for viewing the northern lights, as these destinations have the greatest auroral intensity and frequency.

Depending on such factors as the type of ions or atoms involved in the collision and the pull of earth’s magnetic forces, northern lights can take on various shapes and colours. Displays may include ripples, pulsations or steady glows of blue-violet, green or red colours.

Visibility: Mainly between October and March, with peak visibility from December to February. However, it varies by location and can change year to year.

Good to know: The optimal viewing conditions are during crisp, cold evenings with clear skies in remote locations, away from the glow of city lights. Remember to dress in warm winter clothing when embarking on northern lights tours.

NOTE: As the northern lights are a natural phenomenon, sightings cannot be guaranteed.

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