Some natural phenomena are not visible in Luxembourg due to its location in the heart of Europe. Like the Northern Lights. Or does it? Let's find out.
The Northern Lights are actually the solar wind. Charged particles expelled into space by the Sun reach the Earth and fall into the planet's magnetic fields. Here they are ionized, and during this process, they begin to glow in the dark. This phenomenon is best seen at the poles. This is why the phenomenon is more correctly called the Polar Lights (or Aurora Borealis) than the Northern Lights.
In the latitudes of Luxembourg, you can see the Aurora Borealis. However, it is rare. It happens about once every ten years when the solar flare is strong enough for the particles to take up more space in the sky.
The last time the solar wind was visible over the Grand Duchy was in February.
The ideal time to observe this majestic phenomenon is the beginning of August. In Luxembourg, the shower reaches its peak on the 12th and 13th. This is when the comet Swift-Tuttle passes close to the sun.
As the comet heats up, it loses water, gas and dust. These elements enter the Earth's atmosphere and burn up with a beautiful glow. The phenomenon is harmless and not dangerous — objects of this size cannot do any harm to the planet and its inhabitants.
Summer is the best time to observe meteors. However, you can also see them in the atmosphere in winter. You can make a wish far away from the city, where there is no light pollution.
For European countries, tornadoes are something unique. These deadly whirlwinds usually strike the USA, where they originate from the sea. However, the chance that a storm will come to Luxembourg is not exactly zero. The last major tornado to hit the country was recorded in 2019. It came from France.
Not long ago, a similar tornado was seen near the capital, but it was smaller. Fortunately, it appeared in a field and did not harm anyone. The natural phenomenon was noticed by a local resident. At first, he mistook the tornado for a flock of birds. He also caught the tornado on camera.
Tornadoes and small whirlwinds are formed when streams of cold air in clouds meet hot air near the ground at high speeds.
This is undoubtedly a fascinating sight. However, we strongly advise you not to stay outside safe shelters in the case of a tornado in Luxembourg. Wind speeds near the vortex can reach 100 m/s (360 km/h). This is the speed of an average aeroplane.