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Strong Northern Lights to continue over Norway this week

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Strong Northern Lights to continue over Norway this week
The Northern Lights could be visible over much of Norway this week. Pictured are Northern Lights in northern Norway. Photo by Lightscape on Unsplash

The ever-elusive Northern Lights will likely make a strong showing over much of Norway this week, provided the weather remains clear. 

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Much of Norway was treated to a dazzling showing of the Northern Lights on Sunday evening, and the good news is that the natural phenomena could continue to be visible over Norway this week. 

However, while the solar conditions look good for the Northern Lights, whether they will be visible will depend a little on the weather. 

Cloud coverage can obscure the Northern Lights and make them hard to see and photograph.

"In Western Norway, it is more likely that you will see it the further north you are. But some clouds have been reported tonight, which could cause havoc," meteorologist Dina Stabell told public broadcaster NRK on Monday

READ ALSO: How to take the best pictures of the Northern Lights

Western Norway, southern Trøndelag County, northern Innlandet County and parts of More og Romsdal County will have clear weather and the best chance of seeing the lights. 

The northern parts of the Earth are divided into KP zones. The zones range from one to nine. For example, Tromsø, in the north, is in KP1 and southern Norway is in KP5. The stronger the geomagnetic activity, the higher the KP number and the further south the lights can be seen.

The KP Index doesn't definitively predict the strength of the Northern Lights but provides a good idea of what can be expected. 

A forecast of KP4 is predicted for much of the week, meaning that while most areas can expect lights, Oslo and the southernmost parts of the country will probably miss out. 

The display on Sunday, which saw much of the night sky illuminated in purple, red and green, was caused by a strong solar wind. 

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The Northern Lights are caused by streams of charged particles from the sun, which penetrate the Earth's atmosphere and collide with gas molecules, which then release photons of light.

The good news for anyone who will miss out on this week's display is that the northern lights are expected to be stronger this year in at least a decade due to a surge in activity in the sun. 

"The sun has an 11-year cycle, and now we are approaching the peak of activity. It is likely to be a great winter with a lot of northern lights ahead," Njål Gulbrandsen, researcher at the Tromsø Geophysical Observatory at the University of Tromsø, told NRK. 

READ ALSO: Why the Northern Lights over Norway will be more intense this winter

Oslo and the southernmost parts of Norway look likely to be left disappointed as aurora activity isn't expected. 

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