Aurora Borealis in Norway: Mythology and Science

cosmic rays in outer space

The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, have long captivated the imagination of people around the world. This natural light show, predominantly seen in the polar regions, has been the subject of numerous myths, legends, and scientific studies. Whether you’re drawn to its ethereal beauty or the fascinating science behind it, the Northern Lights promise an unforgettable experience. In this article, we’ll delve into both the mythology and the science of this celestial phenomenon, and even guide you to the best spots in Northern Norway, including the luxurious Malangen Resort, to witness this spectacle.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Science Behind the Northern Lights
  3. Mythology and Legends Surrounding the Aurora
  4. The Northern Lights in Modern Culture
  5. Witnessing the Northern Lights in Norway
  6. Malangen Resort: A Prime Location for Aurora Viewing
  7. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
  8. Conclusion

The Science Behind the Aurora Borealis

creative photo of person holding glass mason jar under a starry sky
Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on

Undoubtedly, the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, are a breathtaking spectacle. However, have you ever wondered about the science that powers this celestial dance? Essentially, the Northern Lights emerge from the interactions between electrically charged particles from the sun and the Earth’s atmosphere. As these particles travel towards our planet, they collide with gases like oxygen and nitrogen. Consequently, these collisions produce the mesmerizing lights that we observe in the sky. Interestingly, the specific colors of the aurora depend on the type of gas and the altitude at which the collision occurs. For instance, green, the most common color, results from collisions with oxygen at lower altitudes. On the other hand, reds are produced by interactions with oxygen at higher altitudes, while purples and blues arise from interactions with nitrogen. Therefore, while the Northern Lights are undeniably magical to witness, the science behind them is equally fascinating.

Mythology and Legends Surrounding the Aurora

Throughout history, various cultures have been deeply enchanted by the Northern Lights, leading to a plethora of myths and legends. For instance, the indigenous Sami people of Scandinavia believed that the lights were the souls of their ancestors dancing in the sky. Moreover, in Norse mythology, the aurora was seen as the Bifrost bridge that connects the realm of gods, Asgard, to Earth. Similarly, in Canadian Inuit folklore, the lights were perceived as spirits playing a game of soccer with a walrus skull. Each of these tales, in essence, represents an attempt by ancient civilizations to explain and connect with the mysterious beauty of the aurora. Thus, the Northern Lights have not only been a subject of scientific curiosity but also a rich source of cultural and mythological stories.

The Northern Lights in Modern Culture

In addition to their historical significance, the Northern Lights continue to inspire modern culture in myriad ways. For instance, they have been vividly depicted in various art forms, from paintings to music and literature. Furthermore, numerous films and documentaries have attempted to capture the ethereal beauty of the aurora, drawing audiences into its magical realm. Additionally, the Aurora Borealis in Norway have influenced fashion, design, and even culinary arts, with chefs crafting dishes inspired by its vibrant colors. Hence, the pervasive influence of the Northern Lights in contemporary culture underscores their timeless allure and the endless fascination they hold for people worldwide.

Witnessing the Northern Lights in Norway

If there’s one place that stands out as a prime destination for viewing the Northern Lights, it’s Northern Norway. Owing to its unique geographical location, this region offers unparalleled opportunities to witness the aurora in all its glory. Specifically, areas like Lofoten and Tromsø are renowned for their clear skies and minimal light pollution, making them ideal for Aurora Borealis in norway viewing. Furthermore, the winter months, especially between September and March, are considered the best time to experience the lights. However, it’s crucial to remember that nature is unpredictable. Therefore, while Northern Norway provides optimal conditions, patience is key when chasing the elusive Northern Lights. After all, the anticipation and the chase are all part of the unforgettable experience that awaits in this Arctic paradise.

Malangen Resort: A Prime Location for Aurora Viewing

For those seeking a luxurious experience while chasing the Aurora Borealis, Malangen Resort stands out. Located in a prime spot in Northern Norway, the resort offers unique amenities and experiences for guests. Whether you’re cozying up in a cabin or partaking in outdoor activities, the resort ensures a memorable stay. And when the night falls, the resort’s location provides an unobstructed view of the mesmerizing Northern Lights.

Aurora Borealis in Norway Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • What is the aurora?
    • It’s created from a collision between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the upper atmosphere of the earth.
  • Why does the aurora move?
    • This collision emits lights in the sky that appear to move or “dance” in an ever-changing pattern across the sky.
  • Are the aurora more visible on cold nights?
    • The aurora occurs above the altitude of clouds. On cold nights, the sky tends to be clearer, making it easier to see the aurora.


The Northern Lights are a testament to nature’s unparalleled beauty. Whether you’re a science enthusiast, a lover of myths and legends, or someone seeking a unique travel experience, the aurora borealis promises to leave you in awe. And for those planning a trip to Northern Norway, Malangen Resort awaits with its luxurious offerings and prime aurora viewing spots.

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