In Danish skies this May: Bright nights, burning like fire

There are dozens of reasons to invest in a telescope this summer

With clear skies forecast over this Ascension bank holiday weekend, conditions are perfect to enjoy the weather phenomenon that in these parts is referred to as ‘Lyse nætter’ (bright nights).

The nights provide star-gazers with a stunning view of the heavens complete with stars and planets, often with a vibrant yellow, red and orange backdrop (see video below).

Perfect conditions in May
Over the Danish summer, the sun does not go below the horizon lower than an angle of 18 degrees, which means its light invariably brightens up our nights, thus giving us the Lyse nætter.

Lyse nætter are not uncommon in Denmark due to its latitude, but although they are only visible between late April and August, it is during May that you are most likely to experience it due to the propensity of clear skies caused by the combination of the Gulf Stream and rise in temperatures.

Halos, auroras and meteors
There are three types of Lyse nætter: civil twilight/dawn; nautical twilight/dawn; and astronomical twilight/dawn (see factbox below).

And the list of phenomena on view is endless. From lunar halos, purple and gold auroras, the Northern Lights (aurora borealis), meteor showers, noctilucent clouds and solar/geomagnetic storms to an open view of the whole Milky Way galaxy, there are dozens of reasons to invest in a telescope.