Advice on seeing the Northern Lights
The Aurora Borealis is a natural phenomenon that's out of this world – literally. These shimmering bands of light that span the spectrum from lime green to crimson are actually the result of solar winds interacting with particles in the earth’s upper atmosphere, about 62 miles from the surface. The form, colour and level of movement of the auroras depends on the level of acceleration, excitation and ionisation of these particles. The Aurora Borealis and its southern cousin, the Aurora Australis, occur in high-latitude regions (around the Arctic and Antarctic respectively). These auroras are widely known as the Northern and Southern Lights.
Most of Greenland lies within the Arctic Circle, making it a prime location for watching the Northern Lights. The phenomenon is so widespread here that it has played a role in the traditional beliefs of the Greenlandic Inuit for generations. One legend tells that when the auroras appear in the sky, the dead are playing football with a walrus skull, while another contends that the lights are instead the spirits of babies who died at birth, dancing across the sky in the afterlife. Some groups here still believe that children conceived beneath the glow of the lights will be particularly intelligent.