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Reykjavik turned off its street lights because the Northern Lights were just that good

29th September 2016

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On Wednesday night Iceland’s capital Reykjavik switched off the street lights in certain parts of the city.

No, this wasn’t a desperate bid by the council to save money on its electricity bills, but to give people a better view of the Northern Lights.

And boy, was it incredible.

Street lights were off for an hour (between 10pm and 11pm), and residents were asked to switch off their own lights to reduce light pollution in the city as much as possible.

This allowed for the best view of the Aurora Borealis, which was predicted to have heightened activity.

And people just couldn’t get over it.

It wasn’t just Reykjavik that got a good seat to the show, but other places from Greenland to Canada also got a brilliant eyeful of the Northern Lights.

That’s right, you could even see them from Northumberland.

Northern Lights.
(Owen Humphreys/PA)

So what actually is this magical display of colour and light? The lights are the result of collisions between charged particles from the sun and the earth’s atmosphere.

So, there you go.

If you want to know more, read our Top Destinations: Iceland guide here

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