Myth and scientific phenomena: Iceland's Northern lights

From generation to generation in Europe, a lot of superstition was associated with the Northern Lights - also called Aurora Bolearis. Some used to say it was the gods warning of an imminent war while others said it was the heavenly warriors’ breathe. Others thought that the red lights that are common in the lower latitudes were a warning of plagues. In the Finish folklore, the Northern Lights are said to be made by a giant fox that wags its tails on the snow thus throwing the ice into the sky and the color is produced when the sun burns the ice. Modern science has however given a perfectly logical explanation why the Northern Lights are formed and this is what you will learn on an Icelandic tour.

Iceland is a Nordic country on the North Atlantic and Arctic Waters with a size of 103,001 square kilometers. It is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world and gets hundreds of tourist cruises every year partly because of the availability of skiing slopes and surfaces but mostly to see the Northern Lights from September to April.

The Aurora Bolearis or Northern lights are a natural display of lights that is caused by collision of energy charged particles from the solar winds and Magnetosphere. The earth's magnetic field is responsible for directing the energy charged particles into the atmosphere where they collide in the thermosphere. The light is usually green and yellow at geographical poles of 3-6 degrees latitude and a mixture of red and yellow in lower latitudes. The green display is considered more beautiful and that is why people love to be as close as they can to the North Pole.

The word Aurora is a Latin word that is used to mean sunrise, or, goddess of dawn. It originates from the Greek mythology which sought to give an explanation as to how the sun rose every morning.

The myths and scientific phenomenon are best learned under the guidance of a professional guide on an Icelandic cruise. Apart from seeing the Northern Lights, you can also engage in sports such as dog sledding, ride on horse sleighs, ice skating, ice fishing and many other snow sports. You can also watch the giant whales take a dip into the cold Arctic Sea waters as well as visit the polar bears in their natural habitats

The Northern Lights have been touted as one of the 7 wonders of the world.  Cross this experience off your travel bucket list soon!  Start your trip!

By Kennedy Runo about Reykjavik

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