Northern Lights Quick Facts:

  • Also known as polar auroras
  • The northern lights are the most notable, but a southern aurora does occur in the southern hemisphere
  • No specific or consistent measurements
  • Appear as glowing sheets or dancing waves

Aurora: Northern Lights

The auroras, also known as the Northern Lights, are naturally occurring lights that create intriguing and spectacular displays in the sky. The aurora lights frequently appear as diffused glow lighting up the horizon. The most amazing sight is when the northern lights appears as waves across the sky; it is almost as if the lights are dancing.

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Best Ways to See and Experience the Aurora: Northern Lights

The Best way to see the Aurora Borealis is by seeking the Northern Lights. Although there is an aurora borealis that occurs in both the northern and southern hemispheres, the southern hemisphere locations are much more challenging.

With that in mind, the best way to see the northern lights is by traveling to the Northern Hemisphere. The chances of experiencing the northern lights will increase as you approach the magnetic pole. The magnetic pole is presently found in the arctic islands of Canada. If you are fortunate to find the aurora borealis, the best ways to experience them is to stand in amazement and watch them dance across the sky. Unfortunately, you cannot predict when the lights will appear no where, but it is worth the effort when you find yourself underneath them as this magnificent light festival covers the sky.

Best Times to Explore the Northern Lights

The best chances of witnessing the dancing aurora borealis or northern lights occur between the months of March through April and September through October. Unfortunately, the time of night when they can occur varies without prediction. It might be around 11:00pm or midnight one evening and then the next time it may happen early in the morning hours like 5am.

Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights Photography Tips

Capturing the northern lights on film has traditionally been a challenge. The most important photography tip for taking pictures of the northern lights with a desire to capture them as naturally as possible is to make certain that you use a high quality camera that allows you to manually adjust your settings. It is a necessity that you plan on using a tripod, because your camera shutter speed is going to be too slow to hold with your hands. The light is going to blur, so the tripod will help you have a meaningful and purposeful blur. A video camera will help you capture the magnificent motion and may make for a better visual in the long run.

Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights Travel Tips

The aurora borealis, or northern lights, can be experienced or seen at different times throughout the year, however the greatest chances occur during the months of March, April, September and October. For the common visitor these months typically represent times of the year that are too cold. A late summer visit to Alaska or northern Canada also presents a fair chance of experiencing the northern lights. The norther lights may also be experienced in northern europe, with Norway being one of the more frequently pursued destinations for those specifically seeking the northern lights.

If you are in the area and hear that someone saw the northern lights the night or early morning before, it is possible that you could capture a repeat performance the next day because of similar weather patterns.

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