Inside Northern Lights' secrets

All you need to know about the aurora or the Northern Lights. Find all information about the Northern lights forecast in one app.

Aurora borealis or as many of you know her as Northern Lights. It is a natural phenomenon that you can spot in the dark sky, which is very active in the poles during wintertime when the sky is dark and creates some impressive green, purple, red, or blue lights dancing in every direction. Unfortunately, there are multiple parameters to see them, and we will explain them to you now.

What is Aurora?

The aurora displayed when the solar wind strikes atoms in the magnetosphere. The disturbance will cause the electrons in the atoms and move to higher-energy level once the electrons drop back to the lower level it will cause a fantastic light on the sky, and that’s how aurora borealis created.

How to see the Northern Lights? 

After the scientific introduction, let's talk about the different parameters that you will have to look at to be able to see Northern Lights, and all of them together gives you a chance to see it during your chasing night.

KP Index

The KP index is one of the most known data for aurora. Related to the disturbance in the Earth's Magnetic field, it expresses the scale of activity on a level from 0 to 9. The higher it is, the more chance you will see the Northern Lights. Even though KP index is a very popular data among aurora hunters, unfortunately, it has proven to be wrong many times as it only measures the Northern Lights' strength for the next 3-6 hours. Therefore with hello aurora, we have decided to use real-time data that have been implemented in March 2020. We now have access to the real-time data gathered from magnetometer placed in different locations for a more accurate aurora forecast.

Solar wind

When you are walking outside, and it gets windier, there is more chance that you notice it and feels it. It's the same for solar wind; the faster it gets, the more likely aurora will be bright, shifting and that you will see it.

Interplanetary Magnetic Field

Planet earth has two poles: north and south. Let's take an example of when you have two magnets, and you bring them close to each other, they automatically attract themselves. It happens the same when the north-south orientation of the interplanetary magnetic field is pointing southward. It will attract the Earth's magnetosphere that is looking northward, which will perform destruction with the Earth's magnetic field and allow particle strikes with oxygen and nitrogen atoms to sprinkles down on our atmosphere and beam lights, which we see as aurora.

Clouds forecast

The clouds coverage forecast will help you to find the best position to spot the Northern Lights. With it, you can locate and predict the cloud’s movement and your chance to see the Northern lights will be higher when the sky is clear.

Weather alerts

Finally, the weather is an important value to look after. You don't want to go out chasing Northern Lights when there is storm alert in your area. Be careful, and drive safely, and stay home when the condition is too dangerous!

Substorm activity during one night in Tromsø. The more negative (nT) it gets the more chance you have to see aurora.

How to find the Northern Lights?

You can find the aurora borealis in the high-altitudes regions such as Iceland, Alaska, Canada, Norway, and many great places that are located above 60 altitudes. 

KP index is an important thing when it comes to seeing a northern light, but if the clouds are thick, you will hardly see one. The best way to locate the Northern lights is to find where the clouds coverage is clear, and the possibility to see them will be higher on that location. Besides the cloud coverage, another thing to have in mind when hunting is that you should be careful with light pollution. Many may have wondered if it’s possible to see the aurora in city? Yes, sometimes you can spot them in the city but we recommend taking small strolls and avoid light disturbance for a better picture and more chance to see with your bare eyes.

If you are in Iceland we have created the useful articles gathered from our data. Check our the best places to see the Northern Lights in Reykjavík, North Iceland, or South Iceland

When can I see the Northern Lights?

Aurora is active all year but you will not be able to spot them during the summertime due to brightness especially in the Nordic country where they have almost 24 hours daylight in the summer so winter is the ideal season. By winter, we meant from late august to the beginning of April. Thanks to the short sunlight hours, you might be able to spot the northern light starting from when the sun is completely set. 

What is hello aurora?

Wondering what is hello aurora and what this friend will help your life easier when it comes to Northern Lights hunting? 

Hello aurora is a mobile application that will act as your best friend when it comes to finding northern lights. Many of you may feel exhausted and bored when trying to understand the possibility of seeing the Northern lights. You can forget about the unnecessary worries now! Because this friend will teach you how to understand the Northern lights, what is the aurora forecast and what is the chance of seeing the Northern Light on your current location in the easiest way. 

If you are wandering around in the cold winter night, you would like to download this aurora forecast application and bring them around with you on your Northern Lights hunting trip.

Learn more about the Northern Lights and hello aurora via our blog post, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We will keep feeding you with Aurora's stories.

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