You can see the Northern Lights at any time of the month, but either side of New Moon is best.Jamie Carter

I get so many people asking me “where is the best place to see the Northern Lights?”.

That’s the easy part.

The difficult part is trying to get across that to see the Northern Lights requires some careful planning, patience, and luck. So here’s my one piece of advice:

Don’t visit the Arctic Circle for ONE night and expect to see a magnificent display of aurora borealis. Go for five nights minimum.

Flying into Fairbanks, Alaska for one night during a week’s stay in Anchorage? Don’t do it. Fancy Helsinki for a holiday, with a short side-trip to Rovaniemi? Forget it. Yes, go to Fairbanks, Yellowknife in Canada, Rovaniemi and Ivalo in Finnish Lapland, Kiruna in Swedish Lapland, Tromso in Norway, and anywhere in Iceland outside Reykjavík, but go for at least five nights. If you’re lucky, one of those nights will be clear. Then you might see the Northern Lights.

So do something else for a few days … dodging reindeers in a small downhill ski resort, a cross-country skiing expedition, snowshoeing through the beautiful forests and fells. Go on a long dog-sledding expedition. Eat a reindeer steak (seriously, definitely eat a reindeer steak).

Just don’t make a foolish plan to fly somewhere to stand outside for an hour. You’ll probably end the night shouting at clouds.

So here’s what you should do instead.

Even if the skies are cloudy most of the time, you want to be in the right places at the right time to maximize your chances of seeing a strong display of the Northern Lights. After all, unforgettable experiences don’t just happen by chance, and finding the Northern Lights is only partly about luck. So what are the secrets?

The green drapes of the aurora borealis are an arresting sight.Jamie Carter

Where to see the Northern Lights

The Northern Lights occur in an oval around the North Pole, between around 66-69° North latitudes (or thereabouts – it’s not yet an exact science). Here are the regions and key locations to see the Northern Lights:

  • Alaska, USA: Fairbanks, Coldfoot
  • Northern Canada: Yellowknife, Iqaluit, Inuvik
  • Iceland: Thingvellir National Park, Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Hella, Skógar, Jökulsárlón and Akureyri (but anywhere outside Reykjavík)
  • Greenland: Ilulissat, Sisimiut, Kangerlussuaq
  • Norway: Kirkenes, Lofoten Islands, Harstad
  • Sweden: Kiruna, Jukkasjärvi, Abisko National Park, Jokkmokk
  • Finland: Levi, Saariselkä, Ivalo, Inari, Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, Kilpisjärvi, Rovaniemi
  • Russia: Murmansk, Barentsburg

Top tip: Iceland is the warmest place to see the Northern Lights, thanks to the jet-stream. Expect freezing temperatures, but not much under.

When to see the Northern Lights: time of night

Although you will hear some people say that the Northern Lights lights tend to appear at a specific time of night, this is usually because that is when they have seen it themselves. Scientifically speaking, the Northern Lights can happen at any time of day or night. They are as likely to be active at lunchtime as they are in the middle of the night. The only reason that the Northern Lights observing season is generally thought to be between September and March is that that is when there is sufficient darkness. After all, in the summer, Arctic regions have extremely long days, and virtually no darkness.

Top tip: If it’s dark outside, be ready to spend a few hours outside at a moment’s notice because when they start there will be no time to waste.

How to get a Northern Lights wake-up call

If there are clear skies during your trip and you don’t see the Northern Lights, that’s probably because you were asleep. If your hotel does have an aurora wake-up call service, it does help. Usually, whoever is working on reception during the night will keep an eye out for Northern Lights, and when they appear, phone all the guests who have signed up for the service.

Top tip: Keep your warm cameras, clothes, and boots by your bed!

The Northern Lights photographed under a Full Moon almost look like daylight shots.Jamie Carter

When to see the Northern Lights: moon phase

Most people who travel to see the Northern Lights – or to go stargazing – pay no attention to the moon’s phase. That’s a big mistake because although you can see a powerful display of aurora borealis while the moon is bright, it can make a weak display invisible. Basically, the more moonlight there is in the night sky, the fainter the display will be. If you plan to take long exposure photographs of them, know that the presence of a full moon can make your images appear as if you took them in daylight.

So plan your Northern Lights hunt during the ‘stargazing window’, that period of the month when there is little or no moonlight between darkness and midnight. For most of the world that occurs from about three or four days before New Moon until three or four days afterward, but in the Arctic Circle, it’s stretched-out somewhat because of how low the Sun is in the sky during winter. That often makes the old and young moon invisible for days on end. Here’s when the early evening night skies will be more or less moonless from around dusk until midnight (but do the exact check moonrise and moonset dates for your destination. This is only a rough guide):

  • Nov. 3-13, 2018
  • Dec. 2-12, 2018
  • Dec. 30, 2018-Jan. 10, 2019
  • Jan. 28-Feb. 8, 2019
  • Feb. 25-March 8, 2019
  • March 25-April 5, 2019

Top tip: The phase of the moon isn’t a deal-breaker, but if you’re going to plan a trip, don’t arrive a couple days before a Full Moon.

Always plan to stay as long as possible in the Arctic Circle, and never for just one night.Jamie Carter

When to see the Northern Lights: spring equinox

It marks the first day of Spring, but few realize that the vernal equinox is one of the best times of the year to see the Northern Lights. It marks the exact time when the Sun moves north across the celestial equator – the Earth’s equator projected into the sky – but it also sees the Sun’s solar wind and Earth ‘in sync’ with each other. This is because the magnetic field of the solar wind is, at this time of year, more likely to accelerate charged particles down the field lines of Earth’s magnetosphere.

So visit the Arctic Circle on or close to Wednesday, 20 March, the date of the vernal equinox, and you will have a higher chance of seeing a Northern Lights display.

Top tip: March 21, 2019 – the day after spring equinox – is a Full Moon, so aim to arrive in the Arctic Circle a few days after that to combine dark skies with a slightly raised chance of a strong display of Northern Lights

Oh, and take a coat. A really, really big coat, plus base layers, fleeces, and three pairs of gloves. That’s what you need to survive a hunt for the Northern Lights.

Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like these:

China’s ‘Fake Moons’ Could Make Light Pollution Almost Fifty Times Worse, Warns Astronomer

Was Einstein Wrong? Tomorrow Begins A Seven-Year Quest To Mercury To Refine Spacetime

This Weekend The Trillion-Star Andromeda Galaxy Will Be At Its Brilliant Best

Missed The Perseids? Here’s When And Where To See The Next Great Meteor Shower of 2018

Follow me on Twitter @jamieacarter, @TheNextEclipse or read my other Forbes articles via my profile page.

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(****** )

(********* )You can see the Northern Lights at any time of the month, however either side of New Moon is finest. Jamie Carter

(************** )I get many individuals asking me” where is the very best location to see the Northern Lights?”.

(************** )That’s the simple part.

The hard part is attempting to get throughout that to see the Northern Lights needs some mindful preparation, perseverance, and luck. So here’s my one piece of recommendations:

Do not check out the Polar circle for ONE night and anticipate to see a spectacular screen of aurora borealis. Opt for 5 nights minimum.

Flying into Fairbanks, Alaska for one night throughout a week’s remain in Anchorage? Do not do it. Fancy Helsinki for a vacation, with a brief side-trip to Rovaniemi? Forget it. Yes, go to Fairbanks, Yellowknife in Canada, Rovaniemi and Ivalo in Finnish Lapland, Kiruna in Swedish Lapland,(****************** )Tromso in Norway, and throughout Iceland outside Reykjavík, however opt for a minimum of 5 nights. If you’re fortunate, among those nights will be clear. Then you may see the Northern Lights.

So do something else for a couple of days … evading reindeers in a little downhill ski resort, a cross-country snowboarding exploration, snowshoeing through the gorgeous forests and fells. Go on a long dog-sledding exploration. Consume a reindeer steak (seriously, absolutely consume a reindeer steak).

Simply do not make an absurd strategy to fly someplace to stand outside for an hour. You’ll most likely end the night yelling at clouds.

So here’s what you need to do rather.

(******************* )

(************** )Even if the skies are cloudy the majority of the time, you wish to remain in the ideal locations at the correct time to optimize your possibilities of seeing a strong screen of the Northern Lights. After all, memorable experiences do not simply take place by opportunity, and discovering the Northern Lights is just partially about luck. So what are the tricks?

The green drapes of the aurora borealis are an apprehending sight. Jamie Carter

Where to see the Northern Lights

The Northern Lights take place in an oval around the North Pole, in between around 66-69 ° North latitudes (or thereabouts– it’s not yet a specific science). Here are the areas and essential areas to see the Northern Lights:

  • Alaska, U.S.A.: Fairbanks, Coldfoot
  • Northern Canada: Yellowknife, Iqaluit, Inuvik
  • Iceland: Thingvellir National Forest, Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Hella, Skógar, Jökulsárlón and Akureyri (however anywhere outdoors Reykjavík)
  • Greenland: Ilulissat, Sisimiut, Kangerlussuaq
  • Norway: Kirkenes, Lofoten Islands, Harstad
  • Sweden: Kiruna, Jukkasjärvi, Abisko National Forest, Jokkmokk
  • Finland: Levi, Saariselkä, Ivalo, Inari, Pallas-Yllästunturi National Forest, Kilpisjärvi, Rovaniemi
  • Russia: Murmansk, Barentsburg

Leading pointer: Iceland is the hottest location to see the Northern Lights, thanks to the jet-stream. Anticipate freezing temperature levels, however very little under.

When to see the Northern Lights: time of night

Although you will hear some individuals state that the Northern Lights lights tend to appear at a particular time of night, this is generally since that is when they have actually seen it themselves. Clinically speaking, the Northern Lights can take place at any time of day or night. They are as most likely to be active at lunch break as they remain in the middle of the night. The only factor that the Northern Lights observing season is usually believed to be in between September and March is that that is when there suffices darkness. After all, in the summertime, Arctic areas have very long days, and essentially no darkness.

Leading pointer: If it’s dark outside, be prepared to invest a couple of hours outside at a minute’s notification since when they begin there will be no time at all to waste.

How to get a Northern Lights wake-up call

If there are clear skies throughout your journey and you do not see the Northern Lights, that’s most likely since you were asleep. If your hotel does have an aurora wake-up call service, it does assist. Generally, whoever is dealing with reception throughout the night will watch out for Northern Lights, and when they appear, telephone all the visitors who have actually registered for the service.

Leading pointer: Keep your warm video cameras, clothing, and boots by your bed!

The Northern Lights photographed under a Moon practically appear like daytime shots. Jamie Carter

When to see the Northern Lights: moon stage

The majority of people who take a trip to see the Northern Lights– or to go stargazing– disregard the moon’s stage. That’s a huge error since although you can see a effective screen of aurora borealis while the moon is intense, it can make a weak screen undetectable. Essentially, the more moonlight there remains in the night sky, the fainter the screen will be. If you prepare to take long direct exposure photos of them, understand that the existence of a moon can make your images look like if you took them in daytime.

So strategy your Northern Lights hunt throughout the ‘stargazing window’, that duration of the month when there is little or no moonlight in between darkness and midnight. For the majority of the world that happens from about 3 or 4 days prior to New Moon till 3 or 4 days later, however in the Polar circle, it’s stretched-out rather since of how low the Sun remains in the sky throughout winter season. That frequently makes the old and young moon undetectable for days on end. Here’s when the early evening night skies will be basically moonless from around sunset till midnight (however do the precise check moonrise and moonset dates for your location. This is just a rough guide):

  • Nov. 3-13, 2018
  • Dec. 2-12, 2018
  • Dec. 30, 2018- Jan. 10, 2019
  • Jan. 28- Feb. 8, 2019
  • Feb. 25- March 8, 2019
  • March 25- April 5, 2019

Leading pointer: The stage of the moon isn’t a deal-breaker, however if you’re going to prepare a journey, do not get here a couple days prior to a Moon.

Constantly strategy to remain as long as possible in the Polar circle, and never ever for simply one night. Jamie Carter

When to see the Northern Lights: spring equinox

It marks the very first day of Spring, however couple of recognize that the vernal equinox is among the very best times of the year to see the Northern Lights. It marks the precise time when the Sun moves north throughout the celestial equator– the Earth’s equator predicted into the sky– however it likewise sees the Sun’s solar wind and Earth ‘in sync’ with each other. This is since the electromagnetic field of the solar wind is, at this time of year, most likely to speed up charged particles down the field lines of Earth’s magnetosphere.

So check out the Polar circle on or near Wednesday, 20 March, the date of the vernal equinox, and you will have a greater opportunity of seeing a Northern Lights show.

Leading pointer: March 21, 2019 — the day after spring equinox– is a Moon, so goal to get here in the Polar circle a couple of days after that to integrate dark skies with a somewhat raised opportunity of a strong screen of Northern Lights

Oh, and take a coat. An actually, actually huge coat, plus base layers, fleeces, and 3 sets of gloves. That’s what you require to endure a hunt for the Northern Lights.

Wanting you clear skies and broad eyes

If you enjoyed this short article, you might likewise like these:

China’s ‘Phony Moons’ Could Make Light Contamination Nearly Fifty Times Worse, Cautions Astronomer

Was Einstein Incorrect? Tomorrow Starts A Seven-Year Mission To Mercury To Fine-tune Spacetime

This Weekend The Trillion-Star Andromeda Galaxy Will Be At Its Dazzling Best

Missed Out On The Perseids? Here’s When And Where To See The Next Terrific Meteor Shower of 2018

Follow me on Twitter @jamieacarter, @TheNextEclipse or read my other Forbes posts through my profile page

” readability =”155
985230352″ >

.

.

You can see the Northern Lights at any time of the month, however either side of New Moon is finest. Jamie Carter

.

.

I get many individuals asking me “where is the very best location to see the Northern Lights?”.

That’s the simple part.

The hard part is attempting to make clear that to see the Northern Lights needs some mindful preparation, perseverance, and luck. So here’s my one piece of recommendations:

.

Do not check out the Polar circle for ONE night and anticipate to see a spectacular screen of aurora borealis. Opt for 5 nights minimum.

.

Flying into Fairbanks, Alaska for one night throughout a week’s remain in Anchorage? Do not do it. Fancy Helsinki for a vacation, with a brief side-trip to Rovaniemi? Forget it. Yes, go to Fairbanks, Yellowknife in Canada, Rovaniemi and Ivalo in Finnish Lapland, Kiruna in Swedish Lapland, Tromso in Norway, and throughout Iceland outside Reykjavík, however opt for a minimum of 5 nights. If you’re fortunate, among those nights will be clear. Then you may see the Northern Lights.

So do something else for a couple of days … evading reindeers in a little downhill ski resort, a cross-country snowboarding exploration, snowshoeing through the gorgeous forests and fells. Go on a long dog-sledding exploration. Consume a reindeer steak (seriously, absolutely consume a reindeer steak).

Simply do not make an absurd strategy to fly someplace to stand outside for an hour. You’ll most likely end the night yelling at clouds.

So here’s what you need to do rather.

Even if the skies are cloudy the majority of the time, you wish to remain in the ideal locations at the correct time to optimize your possibilities of seeing a strong screen of the Northern Lights. After all, memorable experiences do not simply take place by opportunity, and discovering the Northern Lights is just partially about luck. So what are the tricks?

.

.

The green drapes of the aurora borealis are an apprehending sight. Jamie Carter

.

.

Where to see the Northern Lights

The Northern Lights take place in an oval around the North Pole, in between around 66 – 69 ° North latitudes (or thereabouts– it’s not yet a specific science). Here are the areas and essential areas to see the Northern Lights:

    .

  • Alaska, U.S.A.: Fairbanks, Coldfoot
  • Northern Canada: Yellowknife, Iqaluit, Inuvik
  • Iceland: Thingvellir National Forest, Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Hella, Skógar, Jökulsárlón and Akureyri (however anywhere outdoors Reykjavík)
  • Greenland: Ilulissat, Sisimiut, Kangerlussuaq
  • Norway: Kirkenes, Lofoten Islands, Harstad
  • Sweden: Kiruna, Jukkasjärvi, Abisko National Forest, Jokkmokk
  • Finland: Levi, Saariselkä, Ivalo, Inari, Pallas-Yllästunturi National Forest, Kilpisjärvi, Rovaniemi
  • Russia: Murmansk, Barentsburg

.

Leading pointer: Iceland is the hottest location to see the Northern Lights, thanks to the jet-stream. Anticipate freezing temperature levels, however very little under.

When to see the Northern Lights: time of night

Although you will hear some individuals state that the Northern Lights lights tend to appear at a particular time of night, this is generally since that is when they have actually seen it themselves. Clinically speaking, the Northern Lights can take place at any time of day or night. They are as most likely to be active at lunch break as they remain in the middle of the night. The only factor that the Northern Lights observing season is usually believed to be in between September and March is that that is when there suffices darkness. After all, in the summertime, Arctic areas have very long days, and essentially no darkness.

Leading pointer: If it’s dark outside, be prepared to invest a couple of hours outside at a minute’s notification since when they begin there will be no time at all to waste.

How to get a Northern Lights wake-up call

If there are clear skies throughout your journey and you do not see the Northern Lights, that’s most likely since you were asleep. If your hotel does have an aurora wake-up call service, it does assist. Generally, whoever is dealing with reception throughout the night will watch out for Northern Lights, and when they appear, telephone all the visitors who have actually registered for the service.

Leading pointer: Keep your warm video cameras, clothing, and boots by your bed!

.

.

The Northern Lights photographed under a Moon practically appear like daytime shots. Jamie Carter

.

.

When to see the Northern Lights: moon stage

The majority of people who take a trip to see the Northern Lights– or to go stargazing– disregard the moon’s stage. That’s a huge error since although you can see an effective screen of aurora borealis while the moon is intense, it can make a weak screen undetectable. Essentially, the more moonlight there remains in the night sky, the fainter the screen will be. If you prepare to take long direct exposure photos of them, understand that the existence of a moon can make your images look like if you took them in daytime.

So strategy your Northern Lights hunt throughout the ‘stargazing window’, that duration of the month when there is little or no moonlight in between darkness and midnight. For the majority of the world that happens from about 3 or 4 days prior to New Moon till 3 or 4 days later, however in the Polar circle, it’s stretched-out rather since of how low the Sun remains in the sky throughout winter season. That frequently makes the old and young moon undetectable for days on end. Here’s when the early evening night skies will be basically moonless from around sunset till midnight (however do the precise check moonrise and moonset dates for your location. This is just a rough guide):

    .

  • Nov. 3 – 13, 2018
  • Dec. 2 – 12, 2018
  • Dec. 30, 2018 – Jan. 10, 2019
  • Jan. 28 – Feb. 8, 2019
  • Feb. 25 – March 8, 2019
  • March 25 – April 5, 2019

.

Leading pointer: The stage of the moon isn’t a deal-breaker, however if you’re going to prepare a journey, do not get here a couple days prior to a Moon.

.

.

Constantly strategy to remain as long as possible in the Polar circle, and never ever for simply one night. Jamie Carter

.

.

When to see the Northern Lights: spring equinox

It marks the very first day of Spring, however couple of recognize that the vernal equinox is among the very best times of the year to see the Northern Lights. It marks the precise time when the Sun moves north throughout the celestial equator– the Earth’s equator predicted into the sky– however it likewise sees the Sun’s solar wind and Earth ‘in sync’ with each other. This is since the electromagnetic field of the solar wind is, at this time of year, most likely to speed up charged particles down the field lines of Earth’s magnetosphere.

So check out the Polar circle on or near Wednesday, 20 March, the date of the vernal equinox, and you will have a greater opportunity of seeing a Northern Lights show.

Leading pointer: March 21, 2019– the day after spring equinox– is a Moon, so goal to get here in the Polar circle a couple of days after that to integrate dark skies with a somewhat raised opportunity of a strong screen of Northern Lights

Oh, and take a coat. An actually, actually huge coat, plus base layers, fleeces, and 3 sets of gloves. That’s what you require to endure a hunt for the Northern Lights.

Wanting you clear skies and broad eyes

If you enjoyed this short article, you may likewise like these:

China’s ‘Phony Moons’ Might Make Light Contamination Nearly Fifty Times Worse, Cautions Astronomer

Was Einstein Incorrect? Tomorrow Starts A Seven-Year Mission To Mercury To Fine-tune Spacetime

This Weekend The Trillion-Star Andromeda Galaxy Will Be At Its Dazzling Best

Missed Out On The Perseids? Here’s When And Where To See The Next Terrific Meteor Shower of 2018

Follow me on Twitter @jamieacarter , @TheNextEclipse or read my other Forbes posts through my profile page

.