What are the Northern Lights?

What are the Northern Lights?

What are the Northern Lights?

Also known as Nordic Lights or Northern Lights, they are produced by the sun and its currents. The sun releases highly charged particles called ions, which travel through space at high speeds. These clouds of ions coming from the Sun are known as the solar wind. When it interacts with the edges of the Earth’s magnetic field, some of the particles are trapped by it and follow the course of the magnetic lines of force in the direction of the ionosphere (the part of the atmosphere that goes from the Earth’s surface to 60 or 100 km). When they collide with gases in the ionosphere, they release such energy that they rush to Earth in the form of luminous songs, creating the fantastic spectacle we know as the Aurora Borealis. The variation in colors they offer depends on the different gases in the ionosphere.

See Northern Lights Lapland

The best time to see the Northern Lights is between mid-November and the end of February, although Auroras are also seen in late August and early September in Rovaniemi. Typically, the further north of Lapland we travel (to areas like Inari Saariselka or Tromso in Norway), the longer the Aurora “season” is and the more likely you are to see the Aurora. In the south of Lapland in areas such as Rovaniemi or Oulu we can of course also observe Auroras, but the season is shorter. Anyway, the Auroras are a natural phenomenon and are obviously unpredictable, but we have a much better chance on very cold and clear nights (if there are clouds, of course, you can’t see them). The schedule can’t be predicted either, but most occur between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. In March – April it can be between 23.00h and 03.00h. As the intense cold does not allow you to be in the street waiting, it is very common to ask the hotel reception to call the room as soon as the phenomenon occurs. Although it cannot be guaranteed, it is a magnificent and very usual spectacle, which you can enjoy with just a little luck.

Best time to see the Northern Lights
From January onwards, the days start to get longer, and some hours of daylight are recovered, and already in February we can say, in the south, that we have the same hours of daylight as in Spain. Keep in mind, too, that these hours of daylight are gained faster the further south you are from the country, that is, the twilight season lasts longer the further north you are.

For this time of year we recommend wearing warm clothes (thermal shirts, fleeces, anoraks…), and good footwear that also protects from the cold and humidity of the snow and above all gloves, hat and scarf. In any case, the companies that offer snow activities provide thermal suits and suitable footwear to carry them out, so it is not necessary to have clothes or footwear different from what we might need in Andorra in winter.


Finally, we recommend you download an APP for your mobile phone that will warn you in case there are Northern Lights. In both the Apple Store and Google Play you will find many apps. However, we recommend the “My Aurora Forecast – Aurora Alerts Northern Lights” app. Keep in mind that the higher the KP index, the stronger the Northern Lights.

If you want to see the Northern Lights on a holidays to Laplandcontact us and together we will create your dream trip.


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