Confused about which month has the best view of the northern lights? The darker months when there is less natural light get the best view of this phenomenon.
You must have seen pictures and videos of magical lights swaying in the night sky. Even wondered from which place you can get the best view? Alaska is one of the most beautiful countries from where the northern lights are distinctly visible. Also known as aurora borealis, this phenomenon is the dance of colourful bands of lights in the night sky. During peak season, travellers from all over the country travel to Alaska to enjoy this beautiful occurrence as well as to take advantage of winter festivals, skiing, snowmobiling, and sporting events.
The northern lights occur in all four seasons in a year, however, it may be difficult to see them under the midnight sun. The best time to get a glimpse of this beautiful phenomenon is between August and April. During this time, less daylight leads to darker skies, hence the lights can be seen distinctly.
We are aware of the brightly lit skies famous all over the world. But what are they, and how come you can see them only from Alaska? The northern lights, also known as aurora borealis, occur about 60 to 80 miles above the earth’s surface and can extend hundreds of miles into space. They occur at a distance 10 times higher than a jet aircraft flies. However, they do not just occur out of the blue. There is a specific science that goes into play behind its occurrence.
The Earth’s magnetosphere is surrounded by electrically charged particles that travel through outer space. These particles collide with outer gasses, creating a massive energy surge in the form of light. The intensity of solar flares changes the intensity and extent of activity within the Auroral oval. The auroral oval is a ring-like area above the geomagnetic north of the Earth’s hemisphere where auroral activity is concentrated. You will often see the aurora lights to be brilliant yellow-green, but the aurora borealis, although less common, has been known to produce red, purple, and blue-hued patterns up in the sky.
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Towns and cities are adorned with lights, and that may interfere with the viewing of aurora borealis. Although they are visible from the city, the best place to view the northern lights is from an area dark enough to see the night sky all clear. The lights can be visible from anywhere in actuality but can be best experienced from the interiors and the Arctic regions of Alaska. Here are some of the places in Alaska which offer the best view of the aurora borealis:
Other towns and regions in the Arctic and interior regions from where the lights can be seen well are Wiseman, Prudhoe Bay, and Coldfoot. You have to travel quite far up north to see these lights clearly, and moving further away towards the south reduces the visibility.
If you are planning a trip to Alaska, make sure you have a tour guide for you upon reaching the state. They will know remote and off-beaten tracks with less ambient lights from where the lights can be seen prominently. Tour guides and companies offer single-day viewing packages. You can increase your chances of seeing these lights by booking yourself multi-day viewing packages as well. These packages come with meals and overnight stays at remote lodges or homestays, built specifically for viewing the northern lights so that you can gaze at them all night long in your luxury.
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