As you probably know, the Northen Lights are a beautiful natural light show in the sky that you can see in some locations in the world during the winter. It’s caused by solar flares hitting the Earth's magnetic field and getting energized. Then when they cool back down, they give off the light that you see in the sky.
But as the Aurora Borealis is a natural phenomenon seeing it is not guaranteed. Check out these top tips to make sure you know how to experience the aurora borealis
and maximize your chances of seeing the ‘dancing lights’.
So the first thing you need to know if you are hunting the Aurora Borealis is that in you need to be in what they call the Auroral Oval. This is the position on the globe where the Earth's magnetic field is strongest, and so you are likely to see more of the Northern Lights. There are quite a few countries that are included in the Auroral Oval. But be aware that for many of them, you will only be able to see the Northern Lights in a particular part of the country. Usually, the furthermost Northern areas.
In Finland, Norway, Sweden you will need to be in the Arctic Lapland area to experience the Aurora Borealis. In Canada, the Arctic North is the place to see this phenomenon. Try locations like the Northwestern Territories and the Yukon.
If you choose to visit Greenland in the winter, you will be able to see the Northern Lights all over the country.
Remember that if you are travelling to these countries from Dubai, you will need a Schengen Visa. Check out my post for tips on how to apply.
The next tip you need if you want to see the Northern Lights is that you will need to wait for it to be dark. You cannot see the Aurora Borealis in the sky while the sun is up. This isn't such a problem though as many of these countries get dark pretty early at around 4 pm in winter time. This gives you plenty of time to take an organized tour or just head outside to see if you can see the lights.
Many people get worried that a full moon will cause them problems in seeing the Aurora Borealis. But unless the Northen Lights are really weak, or the full moon is behind the lights, this really shouldn't be an issue.
A brilliant tip is to book accommodation that allows you to see the Aurora Borealis while staying warm and dry inside. You can book a glass igloo called the Aurora Dome or a see-through plastic bubble. Imagine lying in bed wrapped up warm and seeing the amazing lights dance across the sky. If you want to be outside but still like the idea of being warm, why not make sure that your accommodation has a hot tub?
Another tip that will help your chances of seeing the Aurora Borealis is to do a bit of research into the science of it. The Northern Lights are known to be most visible just before, during and just after a solar maximum.
A solar maximum is the time when the sun is most active, and more sunspots are produced, which causes more flares, which means more lights. However, new research is showing that the Northern Lights are particularly active as the solar maximum falls. This is good news for Aurora Borealis hunters as this is the current stage of the sun cycle we are in.