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Five Things You Need To Know About The Northern Lights

Travelers Today       By    Marc Delize

Updated: Jan 18, 2017 04:25 AM EST

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There have been misconceptions about the Northern Lights. The only way to really know about them is to go exploring and learn from the locals. Here are five things you need to know about the Northern Lights:

To see the Northern Lights, the weather does not have to be very cold, but it needs to be dark. "The Northern Lights are actually active all year round, according to Luxe Adventure Traveler. They typically can be seen in the aurora zone between 65° and 72° North. They cannot be seen from April through August when the aurora zone experiences nearly 24 hours of daylight. The lights have been seen even during very comfortable temperatures like August." People just tend to associate Northern Lights with the cold since they are visible during the cold winter months.

You have to look north to see the Northern lights. Make sure you know which direction is north. The Aurora is quite unpredictable and can be visible for only a while. When the sky is dim, it can look like a wispy gray or white cloud so it you might miss it. Your chances are better if you know which direction to watch. Local people can tell you which direction they most often appear because it is as ordinary to them as the rising sun.

Even with a full moon, the Northern Lights can still be visible. Another misconception people have is that you can't see the Northern Lights when there is a full moon. The Northern Lights had been shot by many photographers on different instances during a full moon and it even had a nice effect to it. The moon illuminates the foreground and produces a much more blue-black sky.

The Northern Lights is always at least 80 kilometers above the surface of the earth. The Northern Lights often appear to shoot out of mountains like lava from a volcano, but that is only an optical illusion. The closest that the Northern Lights ever come to Earth is 80 kilometers above the Earth's surface. In comparison, a plane flys about 10 kilometers above the surface.

Contrary to recent misconception, the Northern Lights are not at all going to disappear. Scientists says that the Northern Lights brighten and become more clear due to the sun's activity. The sun has a solar life cycle and it occurs every 11 years. The sun is presently nearing its solar minimum, the period with the least solar activity. The ionization and excitation of the particles that create the Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis happens far less frequently with less solar flares and sun spots.

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

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Northern Lights, August, full moon
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