Dancing in the sky ~ The Northern Lights 空中起舞 ~ 北極光
The recent cold weather has reminded me of a beautiful gift from mother nature - the Aurora Borealis, northern lights. The northern light is like a mysterious beautiful girl, she doesn't always appear when you expect her to, but when she does she graces everyone by performing a beautiful dance.
最近冰冷的天氣，讓我想起大自然送給我們很奇妙的禮物 ~ 北極光。 北極光就像一個很神秘的美女，她行蹤飄忽，可遇不可求。但只要她出現，一定會為我們表演一場迷人的舞蹈。
In very simply terms, Northern lights are caused when gas particles from the earth's atmosphere collides with gas particles from the sun's atmosphere. The different types of gases that collide causes different colours, with green being the most common, and red being rare. There is a peak in this collision activity every 11 years when the chances of seeing the Northern light are the greatest. The last peak was in 2013. My first encounter with the northern lights was in 2014 when I went to Finland in search of this natural beauty. I booked a hotel at Muotka in north of Finland and pretty much in the middle of nowhere. The nearest village was about 12 km away, so the reduction in light pollution increased my chances of seeing the northern light.
On the first night of arrival, the hotel gave us a talk about the northern light, the physics behind it, and a basic tutorial on how to use our camera to capture good shots. Then they gave us our winter clothing as the weather could drop below -30 degrees cold. Here's me in my full kit. The photo quality is quite bad as it was very cold outside but you can see I was very well wrapped up. I remember it takes a good five minutes to put this on as it's quite clumsy, and by the time its on, I wanted to rush out into the cold immediately as I was so hot.
The next evening we were driven up to the hills to chase the light. Our guide told us to wander outside to see if we could see any activity. About 10 minutes of starring at the sky in the cold, I could see a flicker in the sky. I wasn't sure if that was HER or just some bright stars. As I stood there in the -34 degrees cold gazing into the sky, the flicker intensified and gradually the flicker became waves of green.
There SHE was, the Northern Lights dancing in the sky. I was absolutely stunned with the power of mother nature, how she could create something so beautiful. It was like a elegant ribbon dance. The strands of the ribbon flowing in mid air like someone was painting in the sky, simple random strokes left and right, up and down slowly and gently.
"她"出現了! 在空中起舞! 大自然的力量實在太不可思議，可以創造如此美麗的畫面。我看到目定口呆， 完全忘卻周圍冰冷的天氣。北極光就像跳絲帶舞一樣，絲帶在空中隨意的上下搖擺，左一下右一下像畫水彩畫一樣，非常優雅。
I quickly took a few photos to the best of my ability, and then spent the rest of the time admire this amazing performance with my own eyes. Before I knew it, I had been standing in the cold for over an hour. Gradually, she left the stage, slowly and quietly, just like when she arrived. The show was over, my night was complete, I had achieved the ultimate aim of my holiday. I couldn't have asked for more. Thank you mother nature.