Chasing the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), Alaska
Aurora Borealis also called the Northern Lights is nature’s most spectacular show over the Arctic Circle. The strange but interesting phenomenon that causes dancing of green and blue lights across the sky over the Arctic is popular amongst the travelers as a remarkable sight. Alaska (Fairbanks city in particular) located inside the Aurora Oval - the area that hovers over the North Pole, is blessed with the best view of this unique phenomenon.
Millions of travelers plan their trip to Alaska around the Aurora season to stand a lucky chance of attending this rare and unique phenomenon. However, being a truly rare and unique phenomenon not everyone is lucky to view the grandeur of nature in its mightiest form. If you are an avid traveler chasing the Aurora, here is a guide to help you stand under the magnetism of the glowing Northern lights.
What is Aurora Borealis!
Aurora Borealis is a phenomenon named after the Roman Goddess of Dawn – Aurora and the Greek word for north wind – Borealis. But unlike its name, the Aurora storms are stirred by the south wind. It takes place when the earth’s atmosphere interacts with the charged particles from the sun and is guided by the earth’s magnetic poles. A sparkling and beautiful activity is caused in the sky that gives a greenish glow, whirling neon scarlet ribbons, and pale yellow hues that turn the aura magical. Its earth’s natural light show that changes its intensity depending upon the activities caused in the air. Thousands of travelers each year travel to Alaska Chasing the aurora and stand beneath the grandeur of nature’s majestic light show!
Why should you go to Alaska to see the Northern Lights
The incredibility and unpredictability of Northern Lights are what appeals the travelers the most. To watch hues of colors and sparkling lights in the clear sky with stars twinkling as a natural phenomenon introduces you to the magic that nature truly is. Of all the places where one can see Northern Lights, Alaska happens to be one of the dry winter regions in the inland Alaskan Arctic making the skies clearer than everywhere else. The chances of spotting the Aurora Borealis in Alaska are much higher than in other regions. It is, therefore, one of the best places to watch Northern lights, in its majestic and magical form.
The perfect time to chase the Aurora
The secret to finding the best time of chasing the aurora lies in considering the year you visit. As Northern Lights or Aurora is caused by an interaction with the solar charged particles and the earth’s atmosphere, the solar activity alters its presence. Higher the solar activity, the better is the show! Scientifically, Sun is known to go through activity cycles every 11 years redefining the solar activities from high to low. The last highest solar activity was recorded in June 2014 and was followed by a spectacular display of light arrays over the Alaskan sky. As the solar activities keep declining, the season up to 2020 is the best time to experience a decent display of Aurora Borealis. While the next grand show is expected to occur around 2025, its best to catch it while it lasts!
Best time to visit Northern Lights
The optimal season for Aurora chasing runs from October to April. It need not be winter to experience the beauty of this natural phenomenon. As Alaska’s daylight starts fading from the early autumn, the sky and its hues are perfect for viewing the show of lights with clarity. With atmospheric changes and local predictions, one can craft the best itinerary around Alaska and watch this spectacular show in action.
How, When and Where of Northern lights
Families traveling to Alaska to view the beauty of sparkling lights over the sky should plan their trip around the seasonal time i.e. October to April. This is the best time to stand a chance of viewing the beauty of this natural phenomenon in its mightiest form. Here are some of the things you should check on.
Weather forecast: Viewing is best during the dark hours when the solar activity is the highest. The Geographic Institute of Alaska forecasts and shares information on its website and app to keep the travelers informed about the activities.
The right gears: The temperature in Alaska during the winters fall up to -40 degree Fahrenheit. Appropriate winter clothes like fleece and wool apparel, wind protecting jackets, and footwear must be in check to travel. Breathing masks, neck gaiters, and heavy scarves are a must!
Accommodation: Instead of just staying in a city it is best to find accommodation on the outskirts of Alaska. The visitors can take tours of the mineral pools, ice-skating avenues, and dig deeper into jungles to get equipped with life at the Arctic. With more proximity of making it to the right place as the phenomenon occurs, the luxury resorts, hotels and spas promise a much relaxing and rejuvenating experience.
Photography tour of Alaska
Alaska is blessed with a plethora of beautiful spots that excite the photographers for capturing nature’s bounty. But it isn’t easy to spot the best of places in the utter cold without an expert guiding you. With your local amigo, you can wander through the wild, visit the best viewpoints, stand beneath the Northern Lights and click perfect shorts of Aurora Borealis. A photography tour takes you through a myriad of places around Alaska to help you sport the spectacular light show along with innumerable pictorial friendly stops
Chase the Aurora with Leamigo!
A personalized and private tour with your local amigo is a promising way to ensure watching the Aurora Borealis while on a trip to Alaska. The experts are aware of the untouched life and wilderness of Alaska to guide you through the journey and find you a perfect spot to view the Northern Lights. A guided trip to viewing the Aurora Borealis includes an easy journey to the perfect spots of views, camping under the starry night with the stunning show happening just above you, bonfire, photography and delicious food. Cutting your hunt short by creating the perfect experience around the Aurora phenomenon, your local amigo helps you build memories in the snow-covered land!
Where else can you see the Northern Lights
The lights appear in both the northern and the southern hemispheres, but for the Aurora hunters, the Northern Lights is the most suitable destination. The Auroral band, often revered as the Aurora Zone stretches from 66°N to 69°N i.e. covering Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland Greenland, and Canada. Some of the Northern landscapes in the UK also witness the grandeur of Northern Lights on rare occasions. It is important, however, to be away from the city lights, pollution, etc which dull the visibility of Aurora with artificial lights
To be able to chase Alaska and stand beneath its magnetism can sometimes be a matter of sheer luck. But if you are adventurous enough, the journey shall be worthwhile!