An aurora (plural: auroras or aurorae), also known as the polar lights, northern lights or aurora polaris, is a natural light display in Earth’s sky, predominantly seen in high-latitude regions (around the Arctic and Antarctic). Auroras display dynamic patterns of brilliant lights that appear as curtains, rays, spirals, or dynamic flickers covering the entire sky.
Auroras are the result of disturbances in the magnetosphere caused by solar wind. These disturbances alter the trajectories of charged particles in the magnetospheric plasma. These particles, mainly electrons and protons, precipitate into the upper atmosphere (thermosphere/exosphere). The resulting ionization and excitation of atmospheric constituents emit light of varying colour and complexity. The form of the aurora, occurring within bands around both polar regions, is also dependent on the amount of acceleration imparted to the precipitating particles.
Most of the planets in the Solar System, some natural satellites, brown dwarfs, and even comets also host auroras.
Svalbard (/ˈsvɑːlbɑːr/ SVAHL-bar, Urban East Norwegian: [ˈsvɑ̂ːɫbɑr] (About this soundlisten)), also known as Spitsbergen, or Spitzbergen, is a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. North of mainland Europe, it is about midway between the northern coast of Norway and the North Pole. The islands of the group range from 74° to 81° north latitude, and from 10° to 35° east longitude. The largest island is Spitsbergen, followed by Nordaustlandet and Edgeøya. The largest settlement is Longyearbyen.
The islands were first used as a base by the whalers who sailed far north in the 17th and 18th centuries, after which they were abandoned. Coal mining started at the beginning of the 20th century, and several permanent communities were established. The Svalbard Treaty of 1920 recognizes Norwegian sovereignty, and the 1925 Svalbard Act made Svalbard a full part of the Kingdom of Norway. They also established Svalbard as a free economic zone and a demilitarized zone. The Norwegian Store Norske and the Russian Arktikugol remain the only mining companies in place. Research and tourism have become important supplementary industries, with the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault playing critical roles in the economy. Apart from Longyearbyen, other settlements include the Russian mining community of Barentsburg, the research station of Ny-Ålesund, and the mining outpost of Sveagruva. Other settlements are farther north, but are populated only by rotating groups of researchers. No roads connect the settlements; instead snowmobiles, aircraft and boats are used for inter-settlement transport. Svalbard Airport, Longyear serves as the main gateway.
Approximately 60% of the archipelago is covered with glaciers, and the islands feature many mountains and fjords. The archipelago has an Arctic climate, although with significantly higher temperatures than other areas at the same latitude. The flora is adapted to take advantage of the long period of midnight sun to compensate for the polar night. Svalbard is a breeding ground for many seabirds, and is home to polar bears, reindeer, the Arctic fox, and certain marine mammals. Seven national parks and 23 nature reserves cover two-thirds of the archipelago, protecting the largely untouched, yet fragile, natural environment.
While part of the Kingdom of Norway since 1925, Svalbard is not part of geographical Norway; administratively, the archipelago is not part of any Norwegian county, but forms an unincorporated area. This means that it is administered directly by the Norwegian government through the appointment of a governor, and is a special jurisdiction subject to the Svalbard Treaty that is outside of the Schengen Area, the Nordic Passport Union, and the European Economic Area. Svalbard and Jan Mayen are collectively assigned the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code “SJ”. Both areas are administered by Norway, though they are separated by a distance of over 950 kilometres (510 nautical miles) and have very different administrative structures.
Northern Lights, Svalbard museum-quality posters made on thick and durable matte paper. Add a wonderful accent to your room and office with these posters that are sure to brighten any environment.
• Paper thickness: 0.26 mm (10.3 mil)
• Paper weight: 189 g/m² (5.57 oz/y²)
• Opacity: 94%
• ISO brightness: 104%
• Giclée printing quality
• 21 × 30 cm posters are size A4
• Blank product sourced from Japan