The Northern Lights: 2023 The Phenomenon Will Be Visible in 17 States This Week!
Have you ever dreamed of seeing the Northern Lights, but without having to travel thousands of miles by plane? A while ago we would have told you it was rare, but this week you can actually see it from America, since it will be visible in several states! Where and how can you see the Northern Lights? What is it actually? How should you prepare?
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The Northern Lights: The Magnificent Phenomenon That We All Dream to See
When most of us were teenagers, we all thought we can travel the world whenever we want and see its wonders. I remember my bucket list and the Northern Lights were the number one things that I wanted to see. Well, I’m no longer a teenager, but I might get to see them this week, since they will be visible in 17 different states in America! Let’s find out what is this natural phenomenon and from where we can see it in 2023!
What Are The Northern Lights?
The Northern Lights, also known as aurora borealis, is a natural phenomenon that includes beautiful colorful lights in the sky, that are seen in the countries like Iceland, Norway, Finland, Scotland, Greenland, Sweden, Canada, and Lapland. Many people call then the “dancing lights” because you can actually see them moving and making different waves. This magical sky phenomenon is related to a lot of myth and legends that people created. But the actual reason of these dancing lights, according to The Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, is that there are solar particles that travel to Earth with a lot of electric energy. However, our magnetic field is protecting us from them, which lead them to slam into the magnetic field and collide, creating the “dancing lights” effect.
When and Where Can You See The Northern Lights in 2023?
According to The Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, The Northern Lights will be visible in 17 different states in America on 12th and 13th of July 2023. Keep in mind that you can see the aurora borealis from certain parts of Canada, including Vermont. Now, check out the 17 American states from where you will be able to see the Northern lights:
Experts advise that the best time to see the aurora is between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. local time, per the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Keep in mind that you should get away from the big cities, since you won’t be able to notice the aurora, due to the city lights. You can turn this into a fun mini trip with your friends and family. It will be best if you are able to find a higher place, because the Northern Lights will be more visible.
Northern Lights: Myths and Legends
The Northern Lights inspired European cultures and Northern American cultures to create a lot of legends and myths through the years and some people still believe in them to this day.
- Vikings Legend: As you may know, the vikings believed in Odin and they related the aurora with him. They thought that the lights represent the Valkyries (women soldiers on horses) and their armor, which lead the dead warriors to Odin and Valhalla.
- Sámi Legend: People from Northern Scandinavia were more skeptic on the heroic stories. Instead, they thought that the lights should be feared and respected as they predicted something bad is coming their way. It was forbidden to wave, whistle or sing while you see the lights, since they also believed these are the souls of the dead.
- Finland’s Legend: People there thought that fire foxes, known as Arctic foxes, are the ones that are responsible for the phenomenon. These foxes were known to have large tails and people believed that while they run, they brush the mountains with their tails, creating sparks. And that led to the Northern Lights.
- North America’s Myth: According to some Native American legends, the lights are torches carried by the spirits, and their job is to guide the recently departed souls. They also believed that the aurora produces a whistling sound, and if it was heard by the people, they had to respond with whispers. For others, the Northern Lights represented the “circle of life” and they believed that they can communicate with their long-gone loved ones.
- European’s Myth: Sometimes, when the lights are visible more in Southern Europe, they acquire this rich red color. You know that the red color is related to danger or a bad omen, and that’s why a lot of Europeans believed that the lights are a sign of impending conflict and that something terrible is coming their way. An interesting fact is that in the beginning of the French Revolution, a vivid red aurora was seen over England and Scotland. The terrified witnesses thought it portended impending death and war.