Northern Lights Tour and Aurora Borealis Travel Guide Guide for Northern Lights Tour – Aurora Borealis
  • Where is the best place in the world to see the northern lights?

    northern lights alaska
    Peter Griffin asked:


    Ive heard Fairbanks Alaska, or Northern Maine/Canada.. anyone have facts on where the aurora borealis is most visible throughout the year?

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    Published on January 19, 2010 · Filed under: Astronomy & Space; Tagged as: , ,
    9 Comments

9 Responses to “Where is the best place in the world to see the northern lights?”

  1. bradxschuman said on

    Pretty much anywhere near the Arctic Circle….Alaska & Canada are FAR more likely than Maine.
    Also…Sweden, norway, Iceland are good.
    It’s best in autumn.

  2. Anywhere near the arctic circle is good. Watch spaceweather.com for alerts to high activity.

  3. Iceland or Greenland

  4. Northern Canada and Alaska are best, because they are closest to the North Magnetic Pole. Aurora is not affected by Earth’s calendar, and can be seen any night of the year, though tends to be noticed more in fall and winter because it gets dark earlier. It IS affected by the Sun’s activity cycle though, which is currently at its 11 year minimum. So there aren’t many aurorae to be seen anywhere, though this will improve over the next few years.

  5. Alaska and canada

  6. laurahal42 said on

    Northern Canada.

    Yellowknife, for example, is well-situated, has dark skies, and good travel connections. You’re not going to see much in the summer (midnight twilight), but the auroras are spectacular in the winter.

    Nowhere is going to be good all year: anywhere far enough north to be good in the winter won’t get dark in the summer.

  7. The Northern Lights are more easily visible the farther North you go. However, they are known occasionally to make it down into the continential United States. They rarely make it much further south than, say, Ohio but I can remember several years ago that a particularly strong aurora could be seen from my backyard in Charleston, South Carolina.

    You can go to SpaceWeather.com (link below) and click on “Current Auroral Oval” link daily to see the predicted extent of the day’s aurora.

    The link says:
    “Under normal conditions the aurora oval covers the following areas in the northern hemisphere:
    - Northern parts of the Nordic countries, including all of Greenland and Svalbard.
    - Northern parts of Alaska, USA.
    - Northern and middle parts of Canada.
    - Northern parts of Russia.”

  8. badger123ca said on

    The further north, the better your chances of having a good view of the Aurora. The Canadian Territories or Alaska would likely give you the best opportunities for viewing in North America. The best time to see them is in the winter – once you get that far north it’s not really dark in the summer.

    If you’re looking at going up to the Fairbanks AK area to view them, you might want to take a look at Chena Hotsprings Resort.

  9. Because of curvature of the earth, it’s best to be looking for the northern lights above 40 degree north latitude.

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