Where do the northern lights in the Netherlands come from?

Where do the northern lights in the Netherlands come from?

Anyone who dreams of one day seeing the Northern Lights no longer has to travel to the Arctic Circle. In the coming years, you will also see this colorful light show in your backyard. Why do the northern lights appear increasingly in the Netherlands, and sometimes even in Belgium? The answer lies in the sun.

How are the northern lights created?

The Sun is constantly throwing electrically charged particles into space. This stream of particles, also called the solar wind, flies towards us at hundreds of kilometers per hour. But these particles don't fall like snowflakes on your garden furniture. Before electrically charged particles from the Sun reach Earth, they first make their way through our atmosphere.

This is where the magic of the Northern Lights happens. The solar wind collides with oxygen and nitrogen atoms in the atmosphere. The energy released during these collisions creates colorful flashes of light. So the northern lights. Or the southern lights, because the aurora borealis also regularly dances across the Antarctic sky. The Earth's magnetic field causes the solar wind to bend toward the poles, creating the northern lights and southern lights.

When and where can you see the northern lights in the Netherlands?

Usually you have to travel to the polar regions to see the aurora borealis. It's still exciting, because the weather on Earth should be good, too. When it's very cloudy, it's hard to see the northern lights, even in Iceland or Scandinavia.

But there is good news for all Northern Lights hunters: in the coming years, there is a much greater chance of the Northern Lights passing in the Netherlands, and even in Belgium. Every eleven years, the Sun's activity reaches a maximum, causing more electrically charged particles to fly into space.

See also  "Calculation" with plants | EOS Science

Such strong solar winds, also called a solar storm, increase the chance of seeing the northern lights also in the Netherlands. In principle, this could happen anywhere in the country, but this natural phenomenon is usually better in locations with low light pollution. According to NASA forecasts The next peak of solar activity will occur in 2024. So, always keep your camera handy, because who knows, you may soon be able to photograph the Northern Lights.

Willick Van Doorn studied journalism and traveled the world for a while, eventually ending up in the editorial offices of Quest, National Geographic, and Runner's World across the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. She is interested in the world, prefers to travel every month and always takes her running shoes with her.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *