Northern lights (Aurora Borealis)

There are few places in the world where you can experience Northern Lights the way you can in Abisko. The sight is a feast for the soul and one of the things you simply must see at least once in your lifetime.

What are Northern Lights?

Northern Lights are a celestial phenomenon which can be observed when charged particles (mostly electrons), which have been accelerated to incredible speeds in the Earth’s magnetosphere, crash into the atmosphere.

Such acceleration occurs only in certain areas of the magnetosphere, as a result of which the Northern Lights can be observed in ring-shaped areas around Earth’s two magnetic poles.

Since this phenomenon is observed at the Earth’s poles, it should really be called polar lights, or southern lights when observed at the South Pole.

In Latin, the northern and southern lights are also called Aurora Borealis or respectively Aurora Australis. Borealis means ”northern” while Australis means ”southern”.

Aurora is the goddess of dawn in Roman mythology, but this name is misleading because the polar lights, unlike dawn, are not reflected sunlight.