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Four places in Europe w]you can see Northern Lights ‘much cheaper than Iceland’

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There are four places in Europe where you can see Northern Lights for “much cheaper than Iceland”.

The Aurora Borealis was visible in parts of the UK last week, but many missed them due to them appearing in the middle of the night.

But there are many chances to see them across Europe, with Hello Tickets compiling a list of the top spots.

Tromso in Norway is a favourite among those chasing the Aurora Borealis. There are guided tours, but these are not necessary with the best time to visit being from late August to April.

Shetland in Scotland is closer to home and here the lights are known as “Mirrie Dancers”. To avoid light pollution it’s recommended to stay near Lerwick between October and March.

The Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic offer great conditions to see the Northern Lights. Top times to visit the Denmark-owned islands are new moons from November to February.

Inishowen Peninsula in Ireland’s County Donegal may come as a surprise but from November to February there’s the chance to see the lights over the rugged landscape.

The Northern Lights are caused by activity on the surface of the Sun. Solar storms on our star’s surface give out huge clouds of electrically charged particles. These particles can travel millions of miles and some eventually collide with the Earth.

Most of these particles are deflected away, but some become captured in the Earth’s magnetic field, accelerating down towards the north and south poles into the atmosphere. This is why aurora activity is concentrated at the magnetic poles.

What we are seeing therefore are atoms and molecules in our atmosphere colliding with particles from the Sun. The aurora’s characteristic wavy patterns and ‘curtains’ of light are caused by the lines of force in the Earth’s magnetic field.

The lowest part of an aurora is typically around 80 miles above the Earth’s surface. However, the top of a display may extend several thousand miles above the Earth.

Different gases give off different colours when they are heated. The same process is also taking place in the aurora. The green we see in the aurora is characteristic of oxygen, while hints of purple, blue or pink are caused by nitrogen.

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