The night sky is a dark place, with only the moon and stars to cast any light. But throughout the long winters high in the northern hemisphere there are nights that are illuminated with spectacular displays of green and blue light dancing across the skies.

We are talking, of course, about the Northern Lights. The Aurora borealis, to give them their proper name, light up these northern skies in stunning displays of light and colour, banishing the darkness of winter in a truly awesome display of the natural world’s power.

For centuries this dazzling lightshow was believed to be the work of the gods, and although these days we know it is caused by gases interacting with particles in the upper atmosphere it does not make the spectacle any less impressive or enthralling. For many seeing the Northern Lights is a dream, but it is easier than you think.

You can actually see the Northern Lights from as far south as northern Scotland, but for the best views and most spectacular displays you need to head much further north. Inside the Arctic Circle is where you will get the best chance of seeing this incredible spectacle, with Norway and Sweden coming out on top as the best European countries for seeing the Aurora Borealis.

Whether you are going to see the Northern Lights this winter, or just want to dream for a few minutes, we have put together a little list with 8 facts you should know about the Northern Lights.

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