If you are looking to indulge in a natural phenomenon, then visiting the Northern Lights is a must. Also known as the Aurora Borealis, this incredible marvel showcases a strikingly beautiful coloured display. The explosions of magnetic energy shine 60 or 70 miles above the earth’s surface. Aurora takes its name from the Roman Goddess of Dawn, whilst Borealis is titled after the Wind, and the Roman God of the North.
The Science Behind Aurora Borealis
Each and every sighting of the Northern Lights is exclusive and you can never be certain which colours you will see. The one truth about nature’s phenomenon is – it has been captivating sightseers for generations. This spectacular display is formed when certain particles connect with the Earth’s magnetic shield, these particles then journey to the North Pole where they interrelate with the atmosphere’s upper layers. The released energy is what we call the Northern Lights.
Where To View The Northern Lights
One of the best places to view the Northern Lights is in Alaska. As dawn takes place, a variety of colourful light bands dance across the night sky. This display is so renowned; travellers often visit from far and wide. Whilst in the vicinity, many will also take part in activities such as skiing, snowmobiling and dog mushing. Although these pastimes are extremely fun, they are also quite fast-paced and as such, travel insurance is imperative. In order to source the best annual holiday insurance available, the best place to look is online. Many providers will often offer better deals on annual policies, so if you travel repeatedly, this option may be cheaper than taking out a single cover each and every time.
Dog sledge tours allow visitors to partake in a new experience and one that commands some of the most spectacular scenery on earth. Watching the midnight sun come to light, as it covers the mountains, is a truly magical occurrence.
Guided snowmobile tours generally take around half a day to complete and such an excursion offers an insight into the Alaskan traditional way of life. It’s also an extremely thrilling pastime as many of the sleds are exceptionally fast-paced.
Alaska is one of the most celebrated places to visit the Aurora Borealis, mainly because its geographic location lies directly beneath the auroral oval. Guests are invited to take part in both one day and multi-day excursions in order to witness the lights in action. August 21 to April 21 is the best season to visit nature’s most magnificent natural wonder.
The Viewing Conditions
Ideal viewing conditions should be cold, crisp and clean, and the skies should boast zero clouds with little light. Depending on where you choose to view the lights and at what time of year, the display can last from as little as a few minutes to as long as five days.
The Aurora Borealis extends ten times higher than a jet aircraft and often spreads hundreds of miles into space. Travellers will regularly see vivid yellows, greens, purples and blue pattern light up the evening sky, which makes for an experience like no other.
If it’s not already on your bucket list, make sure you add the Aurora Borealis now. As well as Alaska, there are a number of other places to view this spectacular display, including Denmark, Scotland, Canada, Greenland, Finland, Iceland, Russia and Sweden.
In Denmark, alterations in both the gases and altitudes create a variety of hues, whilst Scotland tends to showcase only a vivid green light. Lake Superior in Canada is an excellent viewing spot, as the lights not only illuminate the sky, they also showcase reflections from the lake.