The Northern Lights are by far one of the most breathtaking things you will experience in your life. Known as the Aurora Borealis, they are a natural light display that millions of people around the world get to see each year.
Of course, you can only spot them in the right conditions and from certain parts of the world. So, if one item on your bucket list is to experience the Northern Lights, you’ll first need to learn more about them. You will also need to prepare yourself to guarantee a memorable occasion.
This handy guide will give you the rundown on how to prepare for and see the Northern Lights.
What are the Northern Lights?
There’s no denying that the Aurora Borealis offers people a fantastic light show. But have you ever wondered what causes this natural phenomenon? Three ingredients make up the recipe for the Northern Lights display including:
- Solar Winds – they are a stream of ‘plasma’ from the upper atmosphere. Solar winds usually consist of electrons, protons and alpha particles;
- Cosmic Rays – a form of high-energy radiation that produce “air showers” in the Earth’s atmosphere; and
- Energetic Charged Particles – they are magnetic particles held in place by the Earth.
When these three ingredients collide together, they form the Northern Lights. Although it’s a basic explanation, it’s worth doing some research to learn the complete science of it all.
When is the best time to see the Northern Lights?
One fact that few people seldom realize is that the Northern Lights always happen every single day. But we can’t always see them because of long daylight hours. That means spotting them during the summer months is almost impossible.
In my experience, the best time to see the Northern Lights is usually in January to March of each year. It’s possible to try in December, but the weather isn’t usually as stable during that month. If you want to check it out during the summer, the end of September is a good bet.
Because the weather is always changing, there isn’t a guaranteed set of dates; however, the above suggestions are a general guide to improving your chances.
Where should you go to see the Northern Lights?
The Aurora Borealis occurs in areas that form part of the Arctic Circle. That means you can usually see them in the northernmost part of these countries:
Russia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Greenland and Canada.
It’s also possible to see them if you’re in the United States too. Although you’d need to travel to Alaska to make that happen.
As you can see, there are plenty of countries to visit if you want to experience the Northern Lights natural light display. Of course, if you happen to live in one of those countries, all you need to do is just travel north.
By far, the most popular location to visit is in northern Finland. If you’re visiting with your significant other, it can also make for a romantic holiday destination.
So book that trip now and make it happen as the Northern Lights look well worth the trip to experience such natural beauty.