Being an artist, you want to experience all the beauty first hand so that you can turn it into a masterpiece at the end of the day. It is an artist’s dream to get to paint a phenomenon as it is one spectacular event that just cannot be missed. One of these events is the display of the Northern Lights. With all its beautiful colors, painting these lights visually inspires you, giving you the gift of creating your on masterpiece.
Northern Lights Legends
What northern lights are is the stuff that folklore and legend are made of. In Finland they are called “revontulet”, which means “fox fires” a name from an ancient fable about an arctic fox who starts fires while spraying up snow with its brush-like tail. In England “foxfire” refers to a luminescent glow created by rotting fungi.
While the northern lights are not what fungi create, they do have a luminescence that lights up the sky. An Eskimo tale records that what the northern lights are is spirits playing ball in the sky with a walrus skull. Another legend, calls them the flaming torches carried by departed souls guiding travelers to the afterlife.
What Are The Northern Lights Really?
Northern lights or aurora borealis refers to the celestial phenomenon of bands, curtains or streamers of coloured light that appear in the sky predominantly in the Arctic and Antarctic regions of the earth. Their vibrant colors of red, blue, green and predominantly yellow give many a cold polar night a warm glow, even if they do not add any real fire.
Studies Of These Lights
The northern lights are what scientists refer to as “aurora borealis”. Many universities devote much time and resources into discovering more about these natural phenomenon. Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks is one of these universities. The Institute studies the waves of solar particles that splash against the earth’s magnetic field and create the aurora or lights. Daily data about the aurora borealis is being collected by the institute. The Institute keeps an aurora forecast visitors can access via telephone or online. The forecast is updated at 3 pm each day.
The northern lights are what many spectators who have viewed them call a spiritual experience. Many have claimed they omit a distinct sound which mimics symphony music. “Natural Radio” describes naturally-occurring electromagnetic (radio) signals emanating from aurora (The Northern lights). It is theorized these sounds are actually the Earth’s magnetic-field (the Magnetosphere).
These natural occurring northern lights are what have inspired songs, festivals, even rituals in those who have seen them. Writers and poets have penned many a prose in honor of these lights. The beauty, the aura if you will is ultimately in the eyes of the beholder. Perhaps your own northern lights experience is in order so that you can answer the question… What are the northern lights to you?
Northern Lights Vacations
If you wish to see them, you need to plan your Northern Lights vacation carefully. Although the aurora borealis or Northern Lights aurora is active all year round, they can only be seen when the night sky is dark enough. Although, this usually happens between late August and early April, it may be different in specific regions. If you are planning Northern Lights tours, you should research the specific area you will be visiting in order to determine the best time to see the aurora light shows.
Finding The Best Northern Lights Tours
Some things to ask when doing your research to aid you in deciding the Northern Lights tour that’s right for you:
- Physical Capabilities Of You And Your Traveling Guests - Accessibility is not always optimum in the Polar Regions. Be sure to let a tour agency know any accommodations you or your guests may need.
- Time Of Year You Want To Travel – Different areas have different peak times of the year for viewing the light shows. You will either need to adjust your travel itinerary according to your desired destination or you could just change your destination. Several regions offer fantastic opportunities to see the northern lights. Iceland and Alaska both have spectacular viewing sites.
- Take Into Consideration Other Interests – Are you interested in traveling by cruise ship, rail or car? Having a guide or traveling with a themed Northern Lights tours’ company can help you find the best place to take photographs, etc. What other interests would you like to pursue in addition to seeing the Northern Lights, such as dog sledding, snowshoeing or skiing?
You can make your trip a Northern Lights vacation adventure by visiting the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. The Institute studies the waves of solar particles that splash against the earth’s magnetic field to create this natural wonder.
Looking At Your Budget
Of course your budget will be a consideration. Many travel agencies offer discounts of Northern Light tours when booked in conjunction with your other traveling arrangements such as hotel and airfare. Some research could make your Northern Lights vacation a reality. Many people are surprised to find they can afford to view the lights.
With these great tours, you can get your inspiration for your art or even take with you paint, a brush and canvas and paint what you see while taking your magnificent tour.