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The Best Time to Experience the Mesmerising Natural Phenomenon: The Aurora Borealis

9 mins. read

Planning a trip to witness the Aurora Borealis in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. However, if you have been planning to head to the northern lands to experience this natural phenomenon, you should plan to visit in 2024. This year, the sun is expected to reach its peak of solar activity in its 11-year cycle. During this phase, heightened solar activity can be expected, including more sunspots, dark areas on the sun’s surface, and increased streams of solar winds. And when these increased number of particles enter Earth’s magnetic fields, they will create the brightest Northern Lights in 20 years! However, it is important that you first figure out a suitable destination and the best time to see the Aurora Borealis, to ensure a fruitful trip.

What Are the Northern Lights?

The Northern Lights or the Aurora Borealis refer to an atmospheric phenomenon that occurs when waves of solar particles enter the Earth’s magnetic field, resulting in undulating swaths of green, red, and purple lights that seem to dance across the dark skies. The Northern Lights appear in the northern hemisphere and the same phenomenon, when it occurs in the southern hemisphere, is called the Southern Lights or the Aurora Australis.

Where Can You See the Northern Lights?

The best time to go and see the Northern Lights will depend on where you are headed. You can choose the best place to visit to see the Northern Lights during the solar maxim based on your preferences. The Aurora Borealis can be seen in Norway, Swedish Lapland, Iceland, Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland, and Canada.

The Best Time to See the Northern Lights

In theory, the best time to see the Northern Lights starts from the end of August to the middle of April. However, you are more likely to see them during the months from late September to late March, when the skies are darker and there is less light. Towards the high Arctic, the sun does not rise throughout December and into early January, which gives you more hours to see the Northern Lights, but the activities you can do during the rest of the trip will be very limited. Decembers also see many families heading to Lapland for Christmas and can be avoided. On the other hand, October and November are generally cloudy towards northern Europe. Generally appearing between 6:00 PM to 4:00 AM, the best time to watch the Northern Lights is considered to be around 10:00-11:00 OM. You will need to keep an eye out. Also, a full moon can easily bleach out the lights, so planning a visit around the new moon is also a good idea.

Witnessing The Best of Northern Lights

Here’s more on the best time to view the Northern Lights:

  • The Best Time to See the Northern Lights in Norway
  • The Best Time to View the Northern Lights in Sweden
  • The Best Time to See the Northern Lights in Finland
  • The Best Time to Watch the Northern Lights in Russia
  • The Best Time to Go and See the Northern Lights in Greenland
  • The Best Time to Go for the Northern Lights in Canada
  • The Best Time to Go See the Northern Lights in Alaska

The Best Time to See the Northern Lights in Norway

The Best Time to See the Northern Lights in Norway

If you want to see the Northern Lights, the best time to visit Norway is between the autumn and spring equinox, which are the 20th of March and the 22nd of September. Even during this period, March, April, September, and October are considered to be particularly good for spotting the Aurora Borealis. During the day, the best time to see the Aurora Borealis is whenever the sky is at its darkest, which is generally between 11:00 PM to 2:00 AM.

The Best Time to See the Northern Lights in Sweden

As September begins, the Aurora Borealis starts appearing in and around areas in the far north of Sweden, and by the time winter has set, around January, the dancing lights can be seen throughout Swedish Lapland, making January and February the best time to watch the Northern Lights in Sweden. The lights generally appear between 6:00 PM to 2:00 AM, with the best views occurring around 10:00-11:00 PM.

The Best Time to See the Northern Lights in Finland

The Best Time to See the Northern Lights in Iceland

If you are planning to visit Finland, you should look at Northern Lights tour packages between September and November or for February or March. The best time to see the Northern Lights during these months in Finland is from 10:00 PM to 2:00 AM.

The Best Time to Watch the Northern Lights in Russia

For a chance to witness the Northern Lights, the best time to visit Russia is from September to March, which is also known as the aurora season in Russia. During these months, people are most likely to see the Northern Lights, as the skies are usually clear, solar activity is high, and almost 19 hours of each day are covered in darkness.

The Best Time to See the Northern Lights in Iceland

The months from September to March are considered to be the best time to go for the Northern Lights experience in Iceland. Because of the northern location of Iceland, it experiences almost 24 hours of daylight during the summer season, which makes it impossible to see the Northern Lights. However, its northern location acts as an advantage during the winter season, as the skies turn dark, increasing the probability of you witnessing the Aurora Borealis.

The Best Time to Go and See the Northern Lights in Greenland

In Greenland, the Northern Lights appear in the skies throughout the year. However, they are only visible against a dark sky. The high latitude of Greenland also means months and months of the midnight sun, which leaves no chance for seeing the Northern Lights. However, as the summers come to an end and the days start getting shorter around August, the Northern Lights start appearing, but it is generally agreed that December is the best time to go and see the Northern Lights. Fair weather and clear nights are the best bet for witnessing the Aurora Borealis.

The Best Time to Go for the Northern Lights in Canada

The best time to see the Aurora Borealis in Canada is from December to March, when there are more dark, cold, and clear nights, or during the months from August to October, when the midnight sun has begun dimming, but the outdoor weather is still pleasant.

The Best Time to Go See the Northern Lights in Alaska

The best time to go see the Northern Lights in Alaska is during Alaska’s Aurora Season, which traditionally begins in August and lasts till April, with a peak in Northern Light sightings in March. However, rather than the solar activity, the season is more defined by the long, dark nights experienced in Alaska during this time. On dark and clear nights, the Aurora Borealis may appear in the skies at any time after dusk falls. The Geophysical Institute of the University of Fairbanks Alaska has also stated that the best time to see the Aurora Borealis is around midnight, but they may also occur at any time.

Don’t wait! The best time to view the Northern Lights is right now, as the natural phenomenon is all set to display the brightest of hues in 20 years. Generally, the best time to go and see the Northern Lights is during the winter, but if you plan your travel well, you can also explore the country you wish to head to. Just remember that it may be possible that you do not see the Northern Lights the very first night, so make sure you plan an ample number of days to ensure you are able to witness this wonder.

March 23, 2024

Author

Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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