The Northern Lights are a result of charged particles from the sun colliding with gases in Earth's atmosphere. The Earth's magnetic field directs these particles towards the polar regions, creating the stunning light show.
The Northern Lights are predominantly visible in high-latitude regions near the North Pole, such as Scandinavia, Alaska, Canada, and Iceland.
The Southern Hemisphere has its counterpart to the Northern Lights called the Aurora Australis, visible near the South Pole.
The lights often appear in hues of green and pink, but they can also display shades of red, yellow, blue, and violet, depending on the type of gas particles involved and their altitude.
The Northern Lights are closely tied to solar activity. During periods of high solar activity, increased solar wind enhances the auroras' intensity and visibility.
While the Northern Lights are more commonly observed during the winter months, they can be seen year-round in high-latitude locations. Summer sightings are less frequent due to the extended daylight.
Despite their visual splendor, the Northern Lights are silent. Although some reports suggest a faint hissing or crackling sound, it is not directly associated with the lights but may be attributed to the surrounding environment.
The optimal time to witness the Northern Lights is during the winter months when the nights are longest. The hours around midnight are generally considered prime viewing time.
Particularly powerful displays of the Northern Lights can occur during geomagnetic storms, which are disturbances in Earth's magnetosphere caused by solar wind.