First and foremost, this is dedicated to my handsome and ever so amazing friend Joe♥:
I must confess, I have never seen the Northern Lights with my own eyes…yet. So when I asked my friends on Facebook what they were interested in knowing more about, I couldn’t help but become interested myself after my good friend Joe said he wanted to know more about the Northern Lights, or the Aurora Borealis as some may refer to it as. I have always wanted to gaze at one of Earths most spectacular natural treasures. Even looking at pictures, I can’t help but become enchanted by them. Beautiful colors of green, pink, blue and more pulsating and shimmering through the darkness of the night, I can only imagine how magical it is to see with your own eyes! So with a little research, compliments of my friend the internet, here is a quick and handy guide to the Northern Lights:
The Aurora Borealis are caused by electrically charged particles, from the sun, that collide as they enter earth’s atmosphere.
The most common colors? Pale Pink and Green
–Depending on the gas particles colliding, different colors are produced
Peak Season: December through April
(Fall is also a possible time to go, but the winter months, when it is the darkest in and around the arctic circle produces the best chance to see the lights).
No year is the same. The activity of the Northern Lights is cyclic, and some years you can see them more than other years. Also, clear nights are the best, around midnight. Viewing times usually last around 30 minutes, every 2 hours or so.
Now one thing that has prevented me from seeing the Northern Lights is of course, where you can see them from. There are so many beautiful places to see the lights, which just means more places to add to that #bucketlist of mine, including:
Photo Credit: Canada By design
Canada may not be the cheapest option to visit, but it does have the most options because of what is called the “Aurora Oval”, which covers most of the northern parts of the country. Canada also has a map that shows you some of the best places to go here. Here are some specific places to go and see them:
La Ronge, Saskatchewan
Mucho Lake Provincial Park, British Columbia
Photo Credit: Visual Wilderness
For some reason, I never even thought of the possibility of seeing the Aurora in Alaska, in my own country (not that Alaska is anywhere close to me), but it is nice knowing I can go see them without even taking my passport out. It has been reported from locals in Fairbanks, which is located directly under the circle, and regions north of the town, that you can see the lights on average of 10 to 11 days out of 14. Where to go:
Denali National Park
Barrow (most northern point in the states with great Alaskan culture as well)
Photo Credit: Ken Koskela
Iceland is well known for being able to view the Northern Lights from, and with cheap flights from the States and from Europe to the country, it is easily assessable by many. The only thing is that sometimes, the weather is known to be a little unpredictable so it is slightly risky to head here to see them, but totally worth it if you get the chance (because who doesn’t want to go to Iceland anyway?!). It is the most underpopulated country on this list with many unpolluted locations to check out the Aurora like:
Bessastadir (Near Reykjavik)
Check out Iceland’s Aurora forecast as well for more up to date info.
(Norway, Finland, Sweden)
Photo Credit: Fjord Travel
We all know that when it comes to the Northern lights, many people automatically think of Scandinavia. But honestly, how could you not? All three countries produce some of the most spectacular settings to view the lights. With the most northern parts of each three countries being extremely remote, the lack of light and people to disturb you is a great combo. Some places to check them out in the Nordic countries?:
Sweden’s Abisko National Park
Take a cruise from Bergen, Norway
Mo I Rana, Norway
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I am definitely hoping to make it to Iceland in the next year, because I’ve been wanting to see the Aurora Borealis for way too long, so who wants to join?