Best Places to See the Northern Lights


The Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis, is one of the most magnificent displays of sheer beauty of nature has to offer. The odd and fascinating show has had an impact on mankind for thousands of years and can be traced back to mythical assumptions made by Vikings; thinking they were signs from the gods.

In modern times they have simply been respected as the astonishing show that they are. The Northern Lights can be tricky to see in all of their glory if you don’t know where or how to look. These are some helpful tips on where to get the best view possible without risking frostbite or a wasted trip.

In reality, these amazing visual phenomena are called solar winds. To understand where to look for the best views it is essential to understand the science behind the reaction itself. They actually rise from the interference between Earth’s magnetic fields and the charged particles being emitted from the sun. The charged particles react with the magnetic fields coming from the Earth itself.

This is why they are best seen from the extreme climates near the poles of the planet where these magnetic hotspots are most prominent. So, if you plan on going to see this amazing natural show, plan on bundling up and braving it out in freezing temperatures or going in the summer. They wouldn’t be called the Northern Lights if they were visible from a sunny beach closer to the equator.

Some of the best places to see the Northern Lights aren’t solely due to geographical location. As mentioned before, the extreme climates and geography of the prime locations don’t usually render themselves overly accessible for everybody to get there. Scandinavian countries consistently top the list of spots that are the best for viewing this phenomenon.

Places such as Abisko in Northern Sweden and Tromso in Norway have completely tourist friendly environments and are set up to accommodate guests. There are also world renowned locations in Finland. This convenience is paramount when seeking to actually enjoy the experience of viewing the Northern Lights. A pleasurable sight is not nearly as pleasant when suffering through miserable living conditions, unless you’re into that kind of thing.

There are also quite a few other locations with prime viewing right on the mainland continent of North America. The main problem is that the areas not completely isolated from modern society and have heavy light pollution. This affects not only the intensity but the overall viewing experience in the same way star gazers have their view of the night sky skewed by city and street lighting.

The Alaskan wilderness on the Canadian border and places in the Yukon offer some of the most prime viewing spots of the Northern lights as well. If you are planning to go on a vacation during this time of year, you can find some of the cheapest flights around Canada online. Keep in mind that the best places to see the Northern lights is in the wilderness far away from larger cities light pollution so you will need to plan a night or two underneath the stars. Make sure to bring enough food, blankets and emergency supplies since you will not be close major roads. Check out the Yukon and Denali territories as they are great starting places.

Also, don’t forget to bring your camera as word’s can’t explain the sight.

Posted on: December 14, 2012

By mansi