Nordlys, Aurora Boreale in Norvegese, vale a dire “La Luce del Nord”; non poteva esser descritta in modo migliore se non da persone che vi convivono da millenni… E’ forse per essa che gli scandinavi hanno una luce particolare nel cuore….? Questo, almeno è quanto colgo io da oltre 30 anni…
Il prossimo inverno 2016 (come già accaduto alla grande per quello del 2015 appena trascorso), come già studiato mesi fa da alcuni scienziati (vedi articolo qui sotto) sarà l’Anno più bello per i prossimi 10 anni, per quel che riguarda l’osservazione dell’Aurora Boreale (e che Aurore!!); o meglio già lo è: a novembre abbiamo fatto esperienza di Luci del Nord mai viste…. ma, se ricordete, già nel Diario del Lodge di fine agosto, ne descrivemmo una STRAORDINARIA…: l’annuncio, appunto, a ciò che quest’anno sta accadendo.
E’ possibile raggiungerci dal novembre 2015 in poi, poichè anche per l’inverno 2015/2016 (come detto) si predice un’intensa attività solare (la quale si traduce appunto in stagioni di Aurore frequenti e spettacolari)
Per tale ragione (… spettacolare!), abbiamo creato prezzi promozionali per il Borealis Wilderness Lodge 2015 – 2016!!
Dunque…, perchè attendere i prossimi 10 anni…??
Northern Lights ‘best for a decade’ from December 2015
Scientists predict a solar peak that will boost the chances of witnessing the Northern Lights from this December 2015.
Senior NASA scientists have predicted that the current period of solar maximum activity will reach a new peak in December – affording travellers to the far north the best possible conditions for seeing the Northern Lights in the next decade.
On an official NASA video, Todd Hoeksema, the Director of the Wilcox Solar Observatory at Stanford University, said that by December there should be what is termed a “solar flip” – a “complete field reversal” of the sun’s polar magnetic fields.
The intensity and frequency of Northern Lights activity is governed by a solar cycle that lasts for 11 years and the point of a “solar flip” is the one at which the conditions for viewing the lights (also known as the aurora borealis) would be at their best.
The current period of solar maximum activity has already had one peak – towards the end of 2011/early 2012 – and for the past two winters there have been reports of spectacular sightings involving the full range of colours associated with the phenomenon.
With the second peak now coming at the end of this year, strong sightings are set to continue this winter and into the winter of 2014/2015.
“With scientists now putting a date to the peak of the solar max, there is no better time to visit our top northern lights destinations and we are seeing a huge increase in the number of people contacting us that want to get a glimpse of this incredible phenomenon while we reach the peak of the activity in the solar cycle.”
Viewings of the lights are never guaranteed even at times of a solar maximum as cloud cover inevitably spoils the show. Conversely they can also be viewed at times of a solar minimum – though displays at these times tend to be less dramatic.
The longer you allow yourself in the aurora borealis region (see below), the greater your chances of a viewing.
Cooper and his team recommend the Swedish settlements of Abisko and Björkliden, 120 miles north of the Arctic Circle in northern Sweden, as good spots for lights-viewings as both are located within a rain shadow and away from any detracting artificial lights.
Many Northern Lights specialist companies have recorded a surge in demand for trips during the period of solar maximum and many have expanded their itineraries.
A short guide to the Northern Lights
What are the Northern Lights?
Displays of the Northern Lights occur when solar particles enter the Earth’s atmosphere and on impact emit burning gases that produce different coloured lights (oxygen produces green and yellow; nitrogen blue). The scientific term for the lights is the aurora borealis (named after the Roman goddess of the dawn). A similar spectacle in the southern hemisphere is known as the aurora australis.
Where can you see them?
The aurora borealis occurs in an oval doughnut-shaped area located above the magnetic pole. The best sightings are within the “doughnut” (rather than at the pole itself), and away from artificial light and moonlight.
The oval rotates with the sun, and it may grow and shrink in size considerably in only a matter of hours. The most spectacular displays occur in the northern parts of the following areas: the Nordic countries of Sweden, Norway, Finland (including all of Greenland and Svalbard), Alaska, Canada and Russia.
Closer to home, fainter displays of the lights can regularly be seen from Scotland. During periods of “solar maximum”, as now, they have been viewed from southern England.
When to go
Displays of the lights are notoriously unpredictable and cannot be forecast in advance. In the northern hemisphere, the aurora season runs from late September or early October to late March. The lights may be seen at any time during this period, but late October, November, February and March are the best bets.
Displays are governed by an 11-year cycle and are at their most dramatic during times of high solar activity, such as now, but sightings can be recorded at any time. It is impossible to guarantee a viewing even during a period of “solar maximum”; if the sky is cloudy, the lights will be concealed.