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Aurora over Easter Ross - November 2003
Aurora over Easter Ross - November 2003
The Northern lights (Aurora Borealis)


The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)


The Northern Lights, Aurora borealis or "Merry Dancers" are a free light show in the night sky seen in northern latitudes - including the Highlands of Scotland.

The phenomenon varies from a gradually changing glow along the northern horizon, to flickering curtains and patterns of light over much of the sky. They peak every eleven years but can occur in any year and also at any time of year - except you need a dark but clear and preferably moonless night to see them at their best, so that they are seldom noticed in the short northern twilight nights of summer.

They are caused by electrically charged particles from the sun (the solar wind) inter-acting with gas particles in Earth's upper atmosphere. Different gases give different colours but the commonest are probably greens and whitish-blues, though violet and pinks are often seen.

Because of their unpredictability, if you see the Northern Lights, then just enjoy them as an unexpected bonus to your Highland holiday.

 
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