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Posted 08/03/2022 in Arts and Entertainment Articles by

What is The Difference Between The Northern Lights and Aurora Borealis?

What is The Difference Between The Northern Lights and Aurora Borealis?

The aurora borealis, also go by the name northern lights, are one of nature's most wondrous sights. These greenish-yellow dancing lights are something everyone desires to see in their lifetime. People often use the term northern lights and aurora borealis interchangeably, but are they the same thing? Well, if you're wondering the same, you've landed at the right place!

Are Northern Lights and Aurora Borealis The Same? 

There is no difference between the two. The Aurora Borealis is often described as a display of colored lights that move across the sky at night, but there's more to it than that. Aurora borealis is a scientific term for this phenomenon that refers to all forms of aurorae over or near Earth's Poles. They are caused by electrical particles from the sun entering the atmosphere and colliding with gas particles. The collision causes electrons to be released into the air and cause an electric current to flow. 

While there's no difference between these two terms, and they can be used interchangeably, one must remember that the northern lights occur in the skies above the North Pole. The term aurora borealis comes from Latin and means "northern dawn."

On the other hand, aurora borealis occur above both poles. That's the only difference! 

Aurora Borealis vs. Aurora Australis

Another common misconception is that Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis are two different types of light displays in the sky. First, Aurora Borealis is a scientific term used to describe the phenomenon, and we've cleared it up. Coming to Aurora Australis, it's also a scientific term that describes the southern counterpart of this phenomenon. So, what's the game here?
These terms are actually the same thing, just named differently depending on where you are in the world. The aurora borealis (Northern Lights) are seen above the magnetic poles of the Northern Hemisphere. In comparison, you can see the aurora Australis (Southern Lights) below the magnetic poles of the Southern Hemisphere.

How To Plan For a Perfect Gateway To See Aurora Borealis or Aurora Australis

The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon that has been captivating people for centuries. They're most frequently visible close to the Arctic Circle, such as in places like Alaska, northern Canada, or Greenland. You can even see them from Antarctica during extreme solar storms. But sightings as far south as New York state or Scotland are possible during rare solar storms.

Here's how to book a perfect gateway to see aurora borealis:

  • Find out when the Northern Lights are most likely to appear. 

  • Book a flight that will take you directly above the poles where they are more common.

  • Look at guesthouses in remote areas where there is less light pollution, such as Iceland or Norway.

  • Check out websites like Yellowknife Tours for information on current auroral activity around the world, and consider getting a Northern lights guided tour or holiday package.

  • Check the weather forecast, pack warm clothes, and choose your dates carefully.

  • Ensure that your camera has a wide-angle lens, so you can capture more of the sky in one shot, making it easier to spot the aurora borealis if they do appear during your trip.

Looking for affordable Northern lights holiday or honeymoon packages? Yellowknife Tours can help you. To get exclusive deals on a Northern lights package, call 867-873-4600.

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