Come see the Aurora Borealis

A spectacular show of natural lights in the sky.

What is the actual cause of the Northern Lights?

The colorful lights you see in the sky are produced by electrically charged particles from the sun colliding when they enter the Earth's atmosphere.

Where is the best geographic place to see them?

The lights appear most at the magnetic northern pole. The aurora borealis is mostly seen at high latitudes by the magnetic north pole.

They are normally seen in places in the arctic circle, such as Canada, Alaska, and Norway.

The Aurora Australis. What is the difference?

The aurora australis is in the south, by the magnetic south pole. The best place to view them is in Australia and New Zealand.

The aurora australis is like the aurora borealis because they happen for the same reason and look very similar. They appear at the northern and southern magnetic poles.

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The best time of year

The lights are most frequent in late autumn, winter, and early spring. Between the autumn equinox and spring equinox (21 September - 21 March) is when you see them the most.

They also appear when there are solar flares from the sun. The flare sends the electrically charged particles towards Earth to create these magnificent, dancing lights.

How can we forecast when to view them?

According to the statistics by the Finnish Meteorological Institute, four nights out of five have Northern lights in most northern states/countries providing that the sky is free enough from clouds. Based on a large amount of observations of Northern lights at different latitudes during several years. From these statistics you can forecast the probability of the occurrence of Northern lights during the course of year.
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What causes the different colors?

The color of the aurora depends on which gas is entering the magnetosphere and on how much energy is being exchanged between the particles. Oxygen emits either a greenish-yellow light or a red light. Nitrogen generally gives off a blue light. The oxygen and nitrogen combined emit ultraviolet light, which can only be detected by

special cameras on satellites.

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Since the northern lights are seen in the north, usually within the arctic circle, it will be very cold. The temperatures usually range anywhere from -40*F to 30* F. Depending on when you travel, the weather can be different. In the winter, expect snow. In the summer, expect cold temperatures but warmer than winter.

Transportation/Viewing Options

You will be flown into northern Alaska or Canada (you choose) on a bush plane and dropped off at a lodge. The lodge has a glass dome for viewing the colorful northern lights, but there is also a hiking option. You may hike down a 3 mile path to an opening in the woods, this is a great place to view the aurora borealis because of the lack of trees and wide open skies.

Local Legends and Folklores about the Northern Lights

The Evil Thing:

The Point Barrow Eskimos were the only Eskimo group to consider the aurora an evil thing. In the past they carried knives to keep it away from them.

Spirit Path:

"The ends of the land and sea are bounded by an immense abyss,
over which a narrow and dangerous pathway leads to the
heavenly regions. The sky is a great dome of hard material
arched over the Earth. There is a hole in it through which the
spirits pass to the true heavens. Only the spirits of those who
have died a voluntary or violent death, and the Raven, have been
over this pathway. The spirits who live there light torches to
guide the feet of new arrivals. This is the light of the aurora.
They can be seen there feasting and playing football with a
walrus skull.
The whistling crackling noise which sometimes accompanies the
aurora is the voices of these spirits trying to communicate
with the people of the Earth. They should always be answered
in a whispering voice. Youths dance to the aurora. The
heavenly spirits are called selamiut, "sky-dwellers," those who
live in the sky.