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Northern Light Phenomenon
When Lights Arise In The Darkness
Northern lights, also known as aurora borealis, are natural coloured light displays caused by the solar wind hitting the earth's atmosphere near the North Pole. Thereby multicoloured arcs and areas start to glow in the nighttime firmament (picture). Covenant called their album "Northern Light" after this phenomenon. It was recorded during winter in Sweden.
When the electrical charged particles of the solar wind enter the Earth's upper atmosphere they are firstly deflected and directed along the earth's magnetic field. Finally they collide with gas particles, like nitrogen or oxygen and due to billions of those collisions the gorgeous northern light arises. Green and red light comes from oxygen atoms. Violet and blue light comes from nitrogen atoms but it requires very strong solar winds to lighten nitrogen.
During sun eruptions the stream of plasma coming from the sun increases and the northern lights normally occur more often, unlike in more quiet sun periods where the lights appear infrequently. Incidentally there are very similar natural coloured light displays at the South Pole, which are consistently called southern lights. Generally the phenomenon is termed as polar light or aurora.
The earliest narrations about northern lights are over 2000 years old. Several civilisations construed them as activities of goods and ghosts not only in terms of battles or dances, but also as messages to mankind. In the mediaeval times people in Europe believed that northern lights are signs of imminence. However the Vikings interpreted northern lights as the indication of the end of a great battle somewhere in the world. Furthermore the phenomenon was said to be a guiding light on their journey to Greenland.
During the recording of their album “Northern Light” the title was a paraphrase of the vision the band had of the album when they made it. It was recorded in Stockholm in the winter where it was really dark at that time. The album felt like a little light in that darkness, as Covenant explains in an interview. According to the bands conclusion the title is also a kind of description of the sound of the album: cold, dark and melancholic but at the same time full of passion and also with a sense of hope in it.
Information source: wikipedia.de; reuber-norwegen.de; meteoros.de; chaindlk.com (interview)