Northern Lights keep drawing crowds

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Tourists from all over the world continue to travel to both Northern Norway and Norway’s Arctic archipelago of Svalbard in the hopes of seeing the Northern Lights (Nordlys, or Aurora Borealis). Tromsø also been attracting hundreds of performers lately for its annual Northern Lights festival.

The Northern Lights can really light up the dark winter skies, like here on the island of Kvaløya outside Tromsø. PHOTO: Anne-Marie Forker

The Northern Lights can really light up the dark winter skies, like here on the island of Kvaløya outside Tromsø. PHOTO: Anne-Marie Forker

Around 400 artists from 14 different countries have been gathering in Tromsø for a week of musical experiences aimed at spreading warmth in the middle of winter. With 40 concerts on nine stages, ranging from classical music to jazz and melodies for children, organizers promised something for everyone.

Thousands attend the festival every year and also hope for a chance to see the Northern Lights, which occur when charged particles from the sun force themselves through the earth’s magnetic field and enter the atmosphere. That creates the waves of colourful lights at heights of 80 to 300 kilometers.

Recent solar storms have made the Northern Lights more brilliant and frequent than usual, and have attracted more spectators as well, with some British tour companies even flying up tourists for just an overnight visit. Others come from as far away as Japan and China to witness the winter phenomenon.

newsinenglish.no staff