Northern Lights to Your Mobile Phone

Jan 31, 2005

If you are touring in Finnish Lapland, you no longer need to shiver outside when watching the heavens in order to see the Northern Lights. Information about the Northern Lights can now be received directly into a mobile phone via the world's first Aurora Borealis Alarm System.

"This is a service in which local beliefs, the natural surroundings, and technology are combined in an interesting way. Asian tourists in particular are interested in the system," says Miikka Raulo, the managing director of the Lapland Centre of Expertise for the Experience Industry.

In practice the service operates fairly simply. A tourist can order the service on the Internet in his own country. Having come to Finland, he hires a telephone for the service at the airport. At the hotel the tourist receives information about seeing the Northern Lights in the form of a text message on his telephone. The information is transmitted by a sensor monitoring the sky.

Raulo says that the best time to see the Northern Lights in the Rovaniemi area is between November and March - on average every other day.

The northern lights - What are they?

The Northern Lights are a phenomenon that is seen in the skies on clear, dark nights in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Scientists say that they are normally created at a height of 100 kilometres, when electric particles (electrons and protons) accelerated by the Earth's magnetic field collide with molecules of air. These release some of the energy that is obtained in the form of visible light.

Different cultures hold many beliefs about the Northern Lights. Lapps have believed that the Northern Lights have a special quality to settle disagreements. Asians believe they increase fertility, while the Japanese believe that children conceived under the Northern Lights are lucky.

Explore further: Mapping the world's linguistic diversity—scientists discover links between your genes and the language you speak

Related Stories

The rise and fall of giant balloons on the edge of space

Jun 02, 2015

The giant balloon brought down on a cattle station in remote south-west Queensland in April was part of a NASA mission to test the feasibility of using specialised balloons flown in the stratosphere for sc ...

Extremely young stellar clump in the distant universe

May 15, 2015

As part of an observing program carried out with the Subaru Telescope and the Hubble Space Telescope, a group of researchers from the Service d'Astrophysique- Laboratoire AIM of CEA-IRFU led by Anita Zanella ...

Deathly effect of heatwaves ignored

Apr 21, 2015

Heat is an emerging problem in Sydney, but despite having its strongest effects on the poor, the elderly, the disabled and the very young, most community services don't formally cater for the impact of heatwaves ...

Recommended for you

Lady, you're on the money

Jul 03, 2015

So far, women whose portraits appear on U.S. money have been a party of three. Excluding commemorative currency, only Sacagawea, Susan B. Anthony and Helen Keller appear on coins in general circulation, according ...

Old World monkey had tiny, complex brain

Jul 03, 2015

The brain hidden inside the oldest known Old World monkey skull has been visualized for the first time. The creature's tiny but remarkably wrinkled brain supports the idea that brain complexity can evolve ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.