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NORTHERN LIGHTS

Why the northern lights might be visible in more of Norway than usual

Current atmospheric conditions mean there's a good chance the aurora borealis will be visible across much more of Norway than normal on Friday.

Why the northern lights might be visible in more of Norway than usual
Photo by stein egil liland from Pexels

Normally, the northern lights are only visible in northern Norway, typically between April and September.

According to the Geophysical Institute of Alaska the KP index, which is a system of measuring aurora strength, will reach Kp 5 out of a possible 9.

Anything Kp 5 and above is classed as a geomagnetic storm. This means you will be able to see the green lady a lot further south than you usually would.

The reason for this high forecast is “corona holes” (no relation to the pandemic). These are holes in the Sun’s atmosphere, where solar wind is thrown out at high speeds.

The northern lights occur when the protons and electrons from solar wind hit the particles in the Earths atmosphere and release energy.  

“You can see it down towards eastern Norway as an arc on the horizon, while in central Norway and in Trøndelag it will be right over your head.” Pål Brekke, head of space research at the Norwegian Space Center, told newspaper VG.

READ MORE:Taking pictures of the Northern Lights: 10 expert photography tips 

While there will be strong northern lights activity over large parts of the country, it does not necessarily mean that everyone will get to see it.

“It doesn’t look too promising in Nordland and Troms”, state meteorologist, Sjur Wergerland told VG.

However, he also added that the forecast looks much better further south.

Even then though there is no guarantee you will see the northern lights, according to Brekke.

“It is not certain that the northern lights will move as far south as we think, but I recommend people to follow forecasts on websites to stay up to date,” he said.

In order to see the northern lights, the weather will also have to be on your side. Clear skies are best and going to areas with no or low light pollution is important too.

If you are lucky enough to see the lights make sure you don’t wave at them. Doing so will cause the lights to lift you up and take you away according to Norwegian folklore.

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WEATHER

Partial lunar eclipse to be visible over parts of Norway

People in parts of Norway may be able to witness a partial lunar eclipse on Friday. 

Pictured is a lunar eclipse
Friday will see a partial lunar eclipse over Norway. Pictured is a lunar eclipse. Photo by Roger Starnes Sr on Unsplash

On Friday morning, the sun, the earth and the moon will align, causing a partial lunar eclipse. Friday’s celestial showcase will be an almost total lunar eclipse, with only a tiny part of the moon not ending up in the earth’s shadow. 

The eclipse will be most visible at 10:03am, when 98 percent of the moon will be in shadow. 

The moon will take on a reddish tinge as sunlight that passes through the earth’s atmosphere will be refracted back onto the moon. 

People in the north of Norway will have the best eclipse experience because the moon doesn’t go down until later in the morning at higher latitudes. The weather will also be better further north, according to forecasts. 

Residents of east and west Norway hoping for a show may have their views hindered by clouds. 

“If you are lucky, you’ll be able to see it from several parts of the country,” Randveig Eikhild from the Meteorological Institute told public broadcaster NRK

The best place to see the eclipse will be somewhere with a good clear view of the horizon, without mountains, hills or buildings in the way. 

For those in the south, where the view may not be the best due to the brighter mornings, there’s another celestial event on Friday that they will be able to witness. 

Once the sun goes down, gas giants Jupiter and Saturn will be visible in the night sky and very close together. Saturn won’t be visible from the north, however. 

“Jupiter and Saturn are quite close to each other and are beautiful in the fall. However, they are not always as close as they are now. It can be a very nice sight,” Pål Brekke, from the Norwegian Space Centre, explained to NRK. 

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