The Northern Lights are a series of discharged particles emanating from the sun. These tiny charged beauties gush out of enormous dark spots on the sun’s surface creating clouds which travel over 150 million kilometers before reaching Earth.
To enter the Earth’s ionosphere the particles need to become tangled in the magnetic field and be dragged down to the poles. When the lights are dragged into the poles they collide with gasses. This collision is what creates the Auroras. The colour of the lights depends on what types of gasses the discharged particles collide with. For instance a collisions with oxygen typically produce green and yellow lights while contact with nitrogen results in reds, violets, and blues. The shape of the lights depends on the magnitude of the solar flares. During periods of minimal solar flares, shapes tend to be less dramatic. But in cycles of strong flares, lights dance, wind, loop and weave through the night sky.
Iceland is one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights, due to some very important factors. First, Iceland is close to the Arctic circle and though we enjoy long and bright summer nights, in winter the nights are dark (but not full of terrors) and long. Guaranteed darkness is the single most important factor in seeing the Northern Lights, in daylight the Auroras are invisible.