Meteor showers on way to Norway skies

One of 2017’s biggest meteor showers as well as an unusual solar eclipse will appear over Norway during the next two weeks.

Meteor showers on way to Norway skies
Photo: peresanz/Depositphotos

The first shooting stars from the meteor shower have already been observed, but the peak is expected on the night of August 12th, writes Østlandets Blad.

The meteor shower, one of the most visible of its kind this year, is set to pop up in Norway’s skies when the earth passes through dust cloud left by the Swift-Tuttle comet, astrophysicist Knut Jørgen Røed Ødegaard and science fiction author and speaker Anne Mette Sannes wrote to the newspaper in a press statement.

People in South Norway will be able to see the celestial phenomenon after the skies become dark between 11 and 11:30pm.

In the northern part of the country, the sky will still be too light for the meteors to be observed.

It is common to be able to observe between 80 and 100 shooting stars during the Perseids meteor shower, caused by Swift-Tuttle and active from July to August each year, although a bright moon might make the weaker meteors less visible this year, wrote Ødegaard and Sannes.

Space enthusiasts in Norway will be treated to a second astronomical sight later this month.

August 21st will see a small, partial solar eclipse visible in the south of the country.

Norway will be at the “far eastern limit” of the eclipse, which will be at its strongest over the United States, write Ødegaard and Sannes wrote on their website

READ ALSO: Top tips for watching the meteor shower in Norway (from 2016)


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.