There are few better places to see the Northern Lights in winter than Sel - Hotel Mývatn!
The scientific name for the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) is Latin and means "dawn in the north". Galileo Galilei, the Italian scientist, is credited with the first use of the name in 1622. At the latitude where he lived, the colour red is dominant in the aurora, which thus resembles an early dawn in the northern sky. In the southern hemisphere the same phenomenon is called the Aurora Australis, and together the two phenomena can be called the Aurora Polaris.
Auroras are formed in the outermost layer of the atmosphere when electrically charged particles from the sun, or particles excited by solar corpuscular radiation, collide with oxygen, nitrogen, and other atmospheric atoms and molecules and form visible light. This happens at an altitude of between 80 and 500 kilometres (50-350 miles). Light appears in auroral belts, which form in the regions around the northern and southern geomagnetic poles.
The aurora is among the grandest natural spectacles on Earth, sometimes covering almost the entire sky, appearing to dance around with such grace and speed that its beauty and splendour defies description.
For more details, read this short information sheet about the Northern Lights.