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Northern lights (Aurora Borealis)

Aurora (aurorae) is a physical phenomenon that occurs when the solar wind is strong, with a large electrical discharge that sling electrically charged particles towards earth. The particles are electrons and protons that form the light when they collide with gases in the earth's atmosphere. Polar light is located at a height of between 90 and over 180 km above the ground.

The phenomenon can be observed in the night sky in a belt around the magnetic poles. Aurora emerges as an undulating light that varies in form, color and strength, from dark blue to green and yellow, to red and orange. Aurora in the northern hemisphere is called aurora borealis, while aurora in the southern hemisphere is called aurora australis. Norway participates actively in international auroral research.

Andøya Space Center

Is a center for launching research rockets and releasing scientific balloons. The facility is also equipped with a number of ground instruments used in exploration of the near outer space. The focus is in particular on the polar atmosphere in the altitude range between 70 and 2000 kilometers.

Spaceship Aurora

Is a visitor-educational and activity center linked to Andøya Space Center. At Spaceship Aurora you can experience a virtual trip into space, learn to know the Northern lights, get more knowledge of the origin and effect on our planet, and how the Northern lights are reflected in Norwegian history and culture.

Auroral Observatory

Tromsø Geophysical Observatory, is a research institution under the Department of Physics and Technology, University of Tromsø. It was established in 1928 and merged with the University when this was founded in 1972.

Read more about The Northern Light = magic in the night sky!

Northern Light. Photo by Eric Fokke.