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City shuts off street lights so residents can view Northern Lights

Posted: 3:17 PM, Sep 29, 2016
Updated: 2016-09-29 23:35:57Z

Residents in Reykjavík, Iceland were treated to a astronomical treat Wednesday when the Reykjavík's city council ordered the city's street lights turned off in order to view the Northern Lights. The city also asked its residents to avoid turning on porch lights during the evening. 

Reykjavík's lights turned off from 10 to 11 p.m. Wednesday, eliminating light pollution from disrupting the show. According to photos posted on social media, the show was spectacular. 

"Reykjavík residents should be given a unique opportunity to see the magnificent Northern Lights show tonight at better conditions than before," Reykjavík's city council said in a statement. 

In order to view the Northern Lights, otherwise known as the Aurora Borealis, skies must be clear and dark. Street lights make celestial events more challenging to see. 

Northern Lights are caused when charged particles from the Sun's solar wind enter the Earth's atmosphere. The Northern Lights are most powerful near the planet's magnetic north pole. Southern Lights can also happen near the Earth's south pole. 

Out of Iceland's population of roughly 330,000 people, 120,000 live in Reykjavík.