The best time & place to see the Northern Lights

Posted August 5th, 2016

Zillions of tiny gaseous particles soar through the icy, windswept sky of the far-northern hemisphere and collide with energy filled particles, which have travelled nearly 150 million kilometres from the sun. The result is a spectacular, surreal and natural light show that only a few get to experience. The phenomenon is known scientifically as Aurora Borealis and it flashes through the sky in hues of tremendous colours. Imagine sailing at midnight through the deathly silence of a Norwegian Fjord or past an Alaskan glacier, when suddenly the sky above you begins to change colour…

Best time of year to view Aurora lights

Although, like any natural occurrence, it is impossible to predict exactly when and where the Northern Lights will appear, it is possible to estimate and judge according to past trends. As the northern lights appear in the furthest reaches of the globe, they are best seen during the northern hemispheres’ winter months, when the nights are longer. Your best chance to spot this breath-taking phenomenon is during the months of September to April and usually between 5 in the evening and 2 in the morning. For the best experience, make sure you are as far away from towns and cities as possible, so that the beautiful colours are completely visible.

Locations to view Northern lights

There are a number of far-north locations that offer the opportunity to see the Northern Lights, and the further north you go, the better the ‘quality’ of the experience you should have. Some of the most popular destination to see this amazing phenomenon include Alaska, Norway, Iceland, Canada, Sweden and Finland, and yes, you can cruise to many of these destinations. You will of course need to wrap up very warmly, but when you see the Northern Lights for the first time, you will be glad you made the journey.

Interesting facts about Aurora lights

·         The colours you see depend on the types of gases involved, as well as the height of the reaction.

·         When there is higher solar sunspot activity, the lights tend to be more spectacular and frequent.

·         Galileo described the phenomenon as Aurora Borealis way back in 1619.

·         There are ancient cave paintings in France which show the Northern lights painted on the walls by the inhabitants of the time.

·         There are also Southern Lights, however, due to the location and inhospitable environment, the southern lights are not nearly as popular as the Northern Lights.

Experiencing the Northern Lights is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you will remember forever. Not only will you visit some of the most naturally diverse and scenic places on the planet, but you will also get to experience nature in its purest form of untouched beauty! Speak to your Cruiseabout consultant today to find out more about cruising to see the Northern Lights this year!



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