Miracle and wonder in Iceland during Aurora season – Part One
Shimmering across the night sky, the beautiful display of lights called the Aurora, named after the Roman goddess, is something that has long fascinated people. It’s hard to put into words just how beautiful the bands of light spreading across the starry sky really are. Of the many amazing sights throughout a global voyage, one that is truly unforgettable is the Aurora. On Peace Boat voyages we visit Reykjavik, Iceland during aurora season, so as to experience one of the worlds great phenomenons that is uniquely available here.
A veil of light dancing across the night sky
The legends and stories of the aurora have been told across the ages, and have featured in the night skies since antiquity in many place around the world including China, Russia, and Norway. Now with the aid of modern science, the mechanism behind this phenomenon is now progressively more understood. The sun releases electrical waves known as the “solar wind”, and when these particles reach Earth, they react with the nitrogren and oxygen in the atmosphere, creating the light that we see as the aurora. The area on earth best suited to seeing the aurora is in the northern hemisphere between 60 and 70 degrees of latitude, in an area called the “aurora belt”. Most of the country of Iceland is located within the belt, making it one of the best locations for watching these northern lights.
From one ribbon of light, the aurora can expand to form ghostly curtains across the sky, expressing something different every time you look up.
The lights seem to shimmer and wave like a curtain dancing in the wind, and this truly unique experience is something you can never forget.
Aurora viewing made possible by a uniquely moving platform – the ship
When participating in an aurora tour on land, typically you wait until they appear, then move around accordingly to get the best view. However this can be easily interrupted by the weather, with cloud and rain getting in the way. By way of comparison, a ship is uniquely suited to the task by being able to move anywhere quite easily, and is afforded a 360 degree view in the blackness of open water. There’s also no need to wait out in the cold, with onboard announcements made as soon as the aurora is spotted, and you can easily come out onto the open deck with a hot drink in hand.
Once the aurora is spotted and the onboard announcement made, soon the deck is filled with people looking upwards and delighting in the night sky.
You never really tire of seeing the celestial display of green light filling the night sky.