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Tromsø - one of the best places to observe Northern Lights

Tromsø is in the middle of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) zone, and is in fact one of the best places in the world to observe this phenomenon.

In northern latitudes, the effect is known as the aurora borealis (or the northern lights), named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas, by Pierre Gassendi in 1621.
Auroras seen near the magnetic pole may be high overhead, but from farther away, they illuminate the northern horizon as a greenish glow or sometimes a faint red, as if the Sun were rising from an unusual direction. Discrete aurorae often display magnetic field lines or curtain-like structures, and can change within seconds or glow unchanging for hours, most often in fluorescent green.

The aurora borealis most often occurs near the equinoctes. The northern lights have had a number of names throughout history. The Cree call this phenomenon the "Dance of the Spirits". In Europe, in the Middle Ages, the auroras were commonly believed a sign from God.

Tromsø city is the largest city and the largest urban area in Northern Norway, and the second largest city and urban area north of the Arctic Circle in Sápmi (following Murmansk). Most of Tromsø, including the city centre, is located on the small island of Tromsøya in the county of Troms, 350 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle.

The combination of snow cover and sunshine often creates intense light conditions from late February until the snow melts in the lowland (usually late April), and sunglasses are essential when skiing. Because of these diametrically different light conditions in winter, Norwegians often divide it into two seasons: Mørketid (Polar Night) and Seinvinter (late winter).

The compact city center is the biggest concentration of historic wooden houses north of Trondheim, that co-exist with modern architecture. The houses date from 1789 to 1904, when building wooden houses was banned in the city centre, like in several other Norwegian cities. The oldest house in Tromsø is Skansen, built in 1789 on the remains of a 13th century turf rampart.

The Polar Museum, Polarmuseet,situated in a wharf house from 1837, presents Tromsø's past as a center for Arctic hunting and starting point for Arctic expeditions.
The Tromsø Museum is a university museum, presenting culture and nature of North Norway. The museum also displays the Arctic-alpine botanic garden, the world's northernmost botanical garden.

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Tromso in russian language

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