Your Guide To Chasing The Best Northern Lights Experience

Do you ever wonder how an Aurora Borealis is born? Well, this celestial wonder happens high above the Earth’s atmosphere at an altitude of 60 to 250 or more miles when the sun’s charged particles are trapped in a magnetic field. The effect is the stunning dancing light show in different colors that will leave you speechless and in awe to some degree.

In the past, most people thought that we could only see such wonder from an icebreaker in Antarctica, but people now know their way to places in the chase for these light shows.

To earn the best seats for this out of the world experience, go for places with a 55-degree magnetic latitude, and that has low light pollution. But nonetheless, the auroras are common on any dark night in the polar latitudes. The Long winter nights, though, may not necessarily be the best time. It will be helpful to know that the aurora season happens near equinoxes, which may happen twice in a year (March and September) when the Earth’s magnetic field allows more solar particles to interact with the atmosphere.

Between the two equinoxes, the one in September offers a better temperature in polar latitude, thus may result in a more vivid light show. Also, aside from considering the weather, a dark sky and the right season are the keys to finding that experience. Do also try the moonless nights. But let me make it easier for you to find them as here goes the places you can go to:


Aside from the northern lights experience, Iceland is already home to awesome glaciers, geysers, massive waterfalls, and volcanoes. Considering this country is already a scientific investment for the family. Of all the good points why Iceland can give you the best aurora experience, only one will be the challenge, and that is to keep the weather cooperating at your time of visit since both of the latitude and longitude of the place already support aurora viewing.

Kirkjufell mountain of Iceland has served some of the best auroras on the west coast. In the high activity, the northern lights can even be viewed from the suburbs of Reykjavík. Also, the Grotta Lighthouse can also be your viewing spot. Nevertheless, skywatchers can view the dancing light show from their outdoor hot tubs, as a natural roofing design inside a Bubble lodge, and from hot spring lagoons, all across the country. And your best time to travel to Iceland would be on late August or early April. So take your credit cards ready and chase it!

Fairbanks, Alaska

Just the best place in the U.S. to view the northern lights as it is just located by two degrees below the Arctic near the international airport and Denali National Park. Fairbanks even has its own forecast system, and tour offers for travelers to see the light show. The perfect time to travel is in late August or mid-April.

Yellowknife, Canada

It is because of the shores of the Great Slave Lake that this Northwest Territories capital promotes their very own Aurora Village, offering special activities as part of their northern lights tourism.

Canada has always been an aurora viewing paradise, and it is all thanks to its northern latitude and low light pollution that even elsewhere in the country, like Wood Buffalo and Jasper National Park also become spots for viewing. The best time to chase the auroras in Canada and have that dancing lights in your roofing of a sky is by mid-August or in late April, but for Churchill and Wood Buffalo, early August and early May will be your best time.

So whichever of these three magical places you’d go for to see the northern lights, just don’t forget to consider the helpful tips and best time of the year to go, as it is for your utmost experience that I wished to share mine.

Based on Materials from National Geographic
Photo Sources: Pixabay, Simon Migaj, Gashif Rheza