Iceland is famous for the Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights. On Wednesday, streetlights were turned off for residents to fully enjoy the breathtaking sight of the northern lights.
The Reykjavik City Council switched off street lamps and encouraged residents to turn off their lights. Everything went dark last Sept. 28 in Reykjavik. Around 10 p.m., the residents were encouraged to keep the lights off for an hour. The council's aim is to minimize the light pollution that can hinder campers from sky watching.
According to Time, this phenomenon happens when charged particles from the sun strikes the atmosphere at the magnetic North and South poles. Consequently, the interaction in the atmosphere creates illuminating folds of light.
The Northern Lights Came a Bit Late
The council's prediction of time was not entirely accurate. The hour was about to end when the northern lights appeared, which prompted the city council to extend the black out period until midnight, according to BBC.
Meanwhile, the residents appreciated this gesture by the city council. As a result of the black out, many residents were able to enjoy the sights.
A German resident for two months in Iceland, Florian Schade said, "The lights were really strong in the last two nights. It was unbelievable" (via New York Times)
Astronomy educator Saever Helgi Bragason said, "Switching off the street lights was a great gesture by the city council. I hope this will be done more often as it was very successful, especially for those who were patient enough to wait for the lights to appear. It also encouraged more people to go out and look up to the night sky, which is great!"
The sky was very clear that night that even in United Kingdom and United States, the northern lights were visible.