Challenges, Inspiration

Northern Lights shining over Britain

January 26, 2012

British Stargazers as far north Yorkshire and Northumberland have been delighted by the spectacular Northern Lights in the last few days and experts say that there could be even more impressive sights to come! We’ve got our fingers crossed in the Charity Challenge office that they might even be visible as far south as London!

The Northern Lights are a unique phenomenon, first discovered in 1621 by Pierre Gassendi, a French scientist, who named the lights “Aurora Boreas” – After the Roman goddess of dawn and the Greek name for the north wind. The colourful display may look heavenly and serene, but in reality they are caused by bursts of electrically charged particles which are given off by the Sun, these particles interact with the Earth’s magnetic field, causing explosions of magnetic energy which translate to our eyes as bright fluorescent colours.

It’s unusual to see the Aurora Boreas this far south, according to the experts the skies across the north of England were lit up because the solar storm, caused by the eruption of particles, was particularly powerful, making the Aurora Boreas that much more visible across the southern hemisphere. On Monday night, people living in Yorkshire, Northumberland and Scotland witnessed the spectacular display of eerie green light hovering over the northern horizon. If skies are clear the dazzling show is expected to be visible for the next few nights!

Some out our current challengers have been lucky enough to see this particular display of the Aurora Boreas in its more natural habitat of Sweden, whilst taking the Dog sledding challenge. For many people, seeing the Aurora Boreas is a once in a lifetime opportunity! 

“Seeing the Northern lights was one of the most awe inspiring moments of my life – they were beautiful and so peaceful out in the icy tundra!” Emma – Op’s manager

Dog sledding is one of our most popular and unique challenges, as not only do you have the opportunity to witness the wonder of the Northern Lights, you also learn to work with and take care of your own team of huskies, as you drive them mushing over 200kms through beautiful, frozen landscapes. This challenge has a simple and nostalgic quality (despite the fact that dog sledding is very hard work!) that puts it at the top of a lot of people’s challenge wish-lists.

If you’re one of these people, and you want to make your dream a reality, click here to see all our current departure dates (please note all out 2012 dates are booked up, but we do have some places on the 2013 challenges). Please click on the date you are interested in to get the day-by-day itinerary, fact file, kit list, q&a, costs, images and lots more.

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