Discover Best Places to see Northern Lights around the World 

The aurora borealis, sometimes known as the northern lights, is one of nature’s most beautiful spectacles. These incredible light displays, which are brought on by geomagnetic storms in the outer reaches of the atmosphere of Earth, are best noticeable in the Northern Hemisphere’s longest nights of fall and winter. The northern lights can be seen as far south as the northern contiguous United States, depending on the weather and visibility (not to mention the sun’s position in the 11-year solar cycle) (though not often). In locations like Maine and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, aurora-seekers may go a year or longer without spotting even the most minute dancing illumination. As a result of their proximity to the Arctic Circle and their regularly bright, dark skies, hotspots like northern Scandinavia and Greenland experience regular activity. In this article, we will discover some of the best places to see northern lights.

Discover Best Places to see Northern Lights around the World 

What are northern lights?

The term “aurora borealis” was first used in 1619 by Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei, who named it after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek god of the north wind, Boreas. However, the earliest known instance of the northern lights is thought to be a 30,000-year-old cave painting in France. The aurora borealis are stunning dancing waves of light that have mesmerized humanity for millennia. Despite its beauty, this amazing light show is actually rather a violent spectacle. The magnetic field of Earth shields us from the onslaught of energetic solar particles, which may travel up to 45 million miles per hour (72 million kilometers per hour) in our upper atmosphere. There are also southern lights, which you might be hearing first time. As Earth’s magnetic field leads the particles toward the poles, the dramatic process develops into a cinematic atmospheric phenomena that astonishes and excites both scientists and sky watchers. Although there are many interesting facts about northern lights, you might be unaware of, here we have described some basic ones to make you understand about them.

What causes northern lights?

Discover Best Places to see Northern Lights around the World 

Well the causes of northern lights is simple to understand. In reality, activity on the Sun’s surface is what produces the lights we see in the night sky. Huge clouds of electrically charged particles are released by solar storms on the surface of our star. Some of these particles may eventually collide with the Earth after traveling millions of miles. The majority of these particles are diverted, but some are caught in the magnetic field of the Earth and accelerate towards the north and south poles and into the atmosphere. The magnetic poles are where aurora activity is concentrated because of this. Astronomers explain that when these particles collide with atoms and molecules in the Earth’s atmosphere, they effectively heat them up. Although we refer to it as “excitation,” the actual process is remarkably similar to heating a gas and making it light. Thus, what we see is the result of solar particle collisions with atoms and molecules in our atmosphere. The lines of force of magnetic field of Earth are what produce the aurora’s distinctive wavy patterns and ‘curtains’ of light. Usually, lowest point of aurora is located 80 miles or so above the planet’s surface. However, a display’s top can reach up thousands of miles over the surface of the planet.

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What causes the colors of the aurora?

Heat causes certain gases to emit a variety of colors. The aurora is going through the same procedure. Nitrogen and oxygen, the two main gases in the atmosphere of Earth, each emit a unique color during an aurora show. While nitrogen causes hints of purple, blue, or pink, oxygen is responsible for the green we see in the aurora. According to astronomers, we occasionally see a magnificent scarlet red color, and this is created by very high altitude oxygen interacting with solar particles. Only when the aurora is exceptionally energetic does this happen.

Best places to see northern lights 

Although these are many most beautiful locations in the world but Northern lights are considered as a unique phenomenon occurring in very confined parts of the world. Usually the best places to see northern lights are found closer to the Arctic Circle, such as Alaska, Canada, Iceland, Greenland, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. Discover, get ready and enjoy these lovely locations in the world with confidence.


Discover Best Places to see Northern Lights around the World 

This Scandinavian nation attracts aurora hunters due to the Arctic Circle passing through its center. Although the majority of people stay away during the colder months due to the bitter temperatures, the lights are visible from late August to early April. In northern regions, such as those in Abisko and Troms (“the capital of the Arctic”), where it stays dark for weeks and months at a time during the winter, those who are willing to withstand the cold may be treated to 24-hour aurora sightings.

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Denali National Park: Alaska

Discover Best Places to see Northern Lights around the World 

National Park is one of the fantastic places to see northern lights. However, the park receives too much light in the summer (often more than 20 hours of sunshine each day), similar to most northern locations. The National Park Service states that mid-August to mid-April is the best time to see the aurora, but be aware that winter park entry is restricted due to the heavy snowfall. Anywhere in the park should allow you to see them, but the farther north you go, is better. The Alaskan town of Fairbanks is a desirable alternative for individuals who don’t want to stray too far from civilization. In this city, a number of tour companies provide trips out into the countryside at night to see the lights. The University of Alaska at Fairbanks is well known for its accuracy in predicting the northern lights.


Discover Best Places to see Northern Lights around the World 

Although they may be seen anywhere in Canada, a large portion of its northern regions is in the Aurora Zone and is a great site to try your luck. In Canada, many people travel to the Yukon, which is east of Alaska, to see the northern lights, but the Northwest Territories, which are north of eastern British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, also provide excellent viewing conditions. For tourists interested in seeing the aurora, Yellowknife is a particularly well-liked site. Even an Indigenous family-run enterprise called “Aurora Village” with teepees, communal aurora viewing, and local storytelling exists there. In addition, there are numerous tours leaving from Yellowknife that take tourists into the nearby rural countryside, where the lights are most noticeable. For the sole purpose of providing lodging for those seeing the northern lights, which are best visible from mid-August to mid-April, lodges in these remote places are kept open throughout the winter. Another best places to see northern lights which attracts aurora hunters is Churchill in northern Manitoba, as well as Nunavut, Newfoundland, and Labrador. The lights have been reported to show in Banff National Park, so you might even get lucky in Alberta in the autumn.

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Discover Best Places to see Northern Lights around the World 

Swedish Lapland is the perfect place to go for aurora hunting, and there are many of healthy outdoor activities to keep you busy while you wait. Visit the Aurora Sky Station at Abisko National Park for the best chance of spotting the Northern Lights. The northernmost metropolis of the nation, Kiruna, as well as the surrounding village of Jukkasjärvi, both provide excellent bases (home to the Ice Hotel). Visit the little village of Porjus for a side of breathtaking beauty and seclusion.


Discover Best Places to see Northern Lights around the World 

Iceland, which is appropriately known as the “country of fire and ice,” is the high-latitude tourist destination, ideal for watching the aurora; best places to see northern lights. Although the word “fire” in its name comes from its volcanic landscape, it could also refer to the sky’s propensity to put on flaming, vibrant displays. The sky is completely dark for 19 hours straight at the winter solstice, but you can still see the lights on each side of the cold front. They can be seen from September through March. Reykjavik, the nation’s capital, offers visitors a sense of relative warmth and comfort while they wait for the proper conditions to board one of the many aurora borealis cruises to the country’s more northern regions. The “green lady,” so named because the lights frequently have a green tint, is frequently seen in the nature reserves of Jökulsárlón, Kirkjufell, Stokksnes, and Grotta, which are all close to Reykjavik.

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Discover Best Places to see Northern Lights around the World 

The biggest non-continental island on Earth, Greenland, is one of the best places to see northern lights because there are almost no highways or settlements there, which virtually eliminates light pollution. The aurora can also be seen often and at any time of day during the polar night, which lasts from late October until mid-February. Greenland is distinguished by its isolation, which may be both a blessing (since it makes it easier to spot the northern lights) and a curse (because the lack of infrastructure makes it especially hard to get around on your own). However, there are plenty of excursions that focus on the aurora throughout the fall, winter, and spring.

Dog sledding and snowmobiling are the principal modes of transportation in this area. The most distant areas of the island that provide the greatest views of the night sky can also be reached by bush plane.

Northern U.S.

Discover Best Places to see Northern Lights around the World 

In the continental United States, viewing circumstances are rarely ideal, but in the extreme north, such as the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, the Dakotas, and Montana, the lights are easier to see. The window of opportunity is short-lived; the best months to see northern lights are October, November, and April, when the skies are clear and the evenings are lengthy and exceptionally dark. A trip north should not be planned too far in advance, despite the fact that looking at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s daily aurora forecast can be beneficial. These forecasts rarely look more than a week into the future.

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Discover Best Places to see Northern Lights around the World 

With its picture-perfect glass igloos and other distinctive lodgings created especially for the purpose of witnessing the celestial phenomena, Finland is an Instagrammer’s aurora dream. About 200 evenings a year, according to Visit Finland, the northernmost area of Lapland can see the northern lights. Finland is frequently regarded as a more cost-effective option, despite the fact that Norway is recognized as Scandinavia’s center for viewing the northern lights. Autumn and spring are the finest seasons to view the lights in this area.


Discover Best Places to see Northern Lights around the World 

The Northern Lights have been seen as far south as Edinburgh when the conditions are ideal, but northern Scotland, which is located at a comparable latitude to portions of Norway, is where you’re most likely to see the dancing colors. Shetland, Orkney, Harris, Lewis, and the northernmost tip of Skye are all frequently visited by the lights. The Cairngorms National Park and Caithness, which is the northernmost point of the Scottish mainland, are other best places to see northern lights.

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