Wowzas!!! Here’s the northern lights as seen last night from the Keweenaw Peninsula. Space Weather is saying that there’s a good chance of more strong northern lights tonight!
I’ve written about the science behind the colors on the Northern Lights, but how about some highlights of the beliefs about colors of the aurora from ancient people around the world?
In Bulfinch’s Mythology, Thomas Bulfinch claimed in 1855 that in Norse mythology: The Valkyrior are warlike virgins, mounted upon horses and armed with helmets and spears … When they ride forth on their errand, their armour sheds a strange flickering light, which flashes up over the northern skies, making what men call the “aurora borealis”, or “Northern Lights”.
The Algonquin think the lights are their ancestors dancing around a fire.
The northern lights in Scotland were known as “the mirrie dancers” or na fir-chlis. The dance often ended in a fight – “the mirrie dancers bled each other last night”. The appearance of the lights also predicted bad weather.
In Latvian folklore the aurora borealis, especially if red and observed in winter, are fighting souls of dead warriors especially if it is red and seen in the winter. It is an omen foretelling disaster.
Russian folklore associates the northern lights with the fire dragon (“Ognenniy Zmey”). The dragon came to women to seduce them when their husbands were gone.
The Finns named the northern lights revontulet, or fox fires. According to their legend, foxes made of fire lived in Lapland. And, the fox fires were the sparks they took up into the atmosphere on their tails.
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Many more Michigan aurora pics on Michigan in Pictures!