Northern Lights to Your Mobile Phone

January 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: NASA gets infrared view of new Tropical Storm 20W

Related Stories

NASA gets infrared view of new Tropical Storm 20W

September 15, 2015

The twentieth tropical depression of the Northwestern Pacific Ocean formed early on September 14 and became a tropical storm the next day, triggering a tropical storm watch. NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the low pressure ...

Drought's lasting impact on forests

July 30, 2015

In the virtual worlds of climate modeling, forests and other vegetation are assumed to bounce back quickly from extreme drought. But that assumption is far off the mark, according to a new study of drought impacts at forest ...

Robots do check-in and check-out at cost-cutting Japan hotel

July 15, 2015

The English-speaking receptionist is a vicious-looking dinosaur, and the one speaking Japanese is a female humanoid with blinking lashes. "If you want to check in, push one," the dinosaur says. The visitor still has to punch ...

Deal requires deep pollution cuts at Iowa coal-fired plants

July 15, 2015

Iowa's second largest power company agreed Wednesday to drastically cut pollution at several coal-fired power plants under a Clean Air Act settlement that's expected to make the air safer and easier to breathe around the ...

Recommended for you

The culinary habits of the Stonehenge builders

October 13, 2015

A team of archaeologists at the University of York have revealed new insights into cuisine choices and eating habits at Durrington Walls – a Late Neolithic monument and settlement site thought to be the residence for the ...

A particle purely made of nuclear force

October 13, 2015

Scientists at TU Wien (Vienna) have calculated that the meson f0(1710) could be a very special particle – the long-sought-after glueball, a particle composed of pure force.

Dead comets and near-earth encounters

October 13, 2015

Near Earth Objects (NEOs) are asteroids or comets whose orbits sometimes bring them close to the Earth, thereby posing a potentially threat. The asteroid that struck Chelyabinsk last year was an NEO about 40 meters in diameter. ...

Climate scientist hits out at IPCC projections

October 13, 2015

As a new chairman is appointed to the Intergovernmental Panel on climate Change (IPCC) a University of Manchester climate expert has said headline projections from the organisation about future warming are 'wildly over optimistic.'

Light-optics research could improve medical imaging

October 13, 2015

A team of researchers, including The University of Queensland's Dr Joel Carpenter, has developed echo-less lights that could improve medical imaging inside the body, leading to less-intrusive surgery.


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.