Amazing Video Of How The Northern Lights Look Like To The Naked Eye

Published April 23, 2018 581 Plays

Rumble / Natural PhenomenaWhat does the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) look like to the naked eye? We now have the technology to shoot the Aurora with real-time video, but is what the camera sees the same as what they eyes see? Alas, cameras can see colors more vividly at night that our eyes can. In this video, we explain why and what it looks like both to the camera and to the eye.

The first thing to know is that the aurora doesn’t usually appear in brilliant colors all at once. Instead, it often gradually makes its presence known as a rainbow-like arc across the northern lights. Rather than being the unmistakable green color, though, it is can be an off-white color, almost like a cloud.

The human eyes aren’t as well equipped to see color at night and so with the camera sees may be more vivid than what our eyes can’t see. This is because our eyes use rods and cones to see. The cones scent color while the rods are far more efficient photoreceptors which are not sensitive to color in the dark.

Cameras can also accumulate light in a way that the human eye can not. However, that does not mean you can’t see color in the Aurora with the naked eye but that depends on the strength of the auroral activity.

If you want to see vivid colors in the Aurora just hope for some strong activity, bring a digital camera and a tripod and keep looking up.