The aurora borealis, typically known as the Northern Lights, is usually a mesmerising, colourful, eerie display of light within the northern polar sky. It truly is caused when solar wind from the sun collides together with the Earth’s outer magnetic atmosphere and releases its power. It may final for hours – and it can fill you with wonder!
WHEN CAN I SEE IT?
It takes place on a regular basis, day and night, all year round. But, like the moon and stars, it is only visible when the sky is dark. The northern skies never get quite dark in summer season – so the most beneficial time to see The Aurora is on a clear winter’s evening. November, December, January and February offer you very good views – but this far north the winter nights are dangerously cold! So September, October, March and April will be the very best months.
Exactly where Would be the Ideal Locations TO VIEW IT?
The further north the greater! Should you were to ask ten Aurora watchers to name the top spot – you’d possibly get ten distinctive answers. They are my favourite spots.
Tromso, inside the far north of Norway, is beyond doubt the finest city inside the globe, north on the arctic circle. Vibrant, sophisticated, stunningly appealing – it truly is typically known as The Paris in the north. Tromso has all the facilities you could possibly possible want for – and with its key airport and its magnificent harbour it can be a really straightforward spot to acquire to. Ideal of all, at 400km inside the Arctic Circle it is actually far sufficient north to pretty much guarantee fantastic views in the Aurora on nearly any clear winter’s night. Tromso, in my opinion, will be the easiest, safest, most comfortable location within the planet to view the Aurora Borealis.
Yellowknife, around the shores of the Terrific Slave Lake, way up inside the North Western Territories, is usually a fantastic, vibrant town, and it is far sufficient north to guarantee views from the Aurora on most clear nights.
Blachford Lake. A short hop within a ski-plane from Yellowknife, s a fantastic location to stay to get a genuine, rustic frontier knowledge. It’s also away from any light-pollution in the city, so the skies are dark, plus the viewing is fabulous.
Canada’s Yukon has a few of the most effective viewing in the globe. This can be a Huge, territory. Larger than California, Arizona, Delaware and West Virginia added together! Most of Europe would vanish into it with no a trace! But the population in the whole territory is just 40,000. You don’t see many men and women right here!
Watson Lake, with its Northern Lights Space and Science Centre can be a fine location to view the Aurora – and you can find some good places to lodge. Among in the best is Nugget City Cabins. A different spot I’ve tried and may advise is Air Force Lodge. It is friendly, welcoming, clean, warm, comfy, and remarkably economical for this a part of the planet.
A quick hop north inside a float-plane from Watson Lake will get you to isolated and definitely lovely Frances Lake Wilderness Lodge. You will find no roads right here – this is wilderness nation, but the Lodge is warm!
And if you need a wilderness adventure in the truest sense from the word – take a trip to…
Nunavat may be the ideal spot in North America to see the Aurora. It is actually Canada’s newest, greatest, and most exciting territory. It spans the Arctic Circle, and includes the magnetic North-Pole. Parts of this wonderful region are so far north – that the best strategy to see the Aurora – is by looking SOUTH! It has islands bigger than Britain – with nobody living on them! And its interior contains lakes so remote that they do not even have names but!
Nunavut (Our Land) only became a territory in its personal proper in 1999 when the Inuit Tribe won the biggest land claim in history. They’ve now formed a territorial government in the capital Iqaluit.They’re constructing their own schools, their very own roads, and their own tourist market. Tourism is just obtaining started here – and there’s a lot of perform to become carried out. Most of Nunavut is only accessible by aircraft or dog-sled!
But for those who have that pioneering spirit of adventure – this can be location! The Inuit folks will take good care of you, and you’ll get the ideal Aurora views on the planet!
Fairbanks in Alaska has a genuine Northern Lights culture. It can be a terrific location to stay, effortless(ish) to have to, and also the views with the Aurora are exceptional. To share your viewing with other enthusiasts – this can be the place!
Bettles, north of Fairbanks is excellent too. The Bettles Lodge is excellent. They even have their very own plane – so they could fly you from Fairbanks airport, right towards the front door of the hotel
These are my favourite areas. If I had to advise just one particular for the initial Aurora Encounter – I’d say Tromso in Norway. It can be the easiest, most comfy and safest place of all.
HINTS, Strategies & WARNINGS.
The Arctic is a single from the harshest environments around the planet – and should you do not take measures to keep yourself warm – the weather here could kill you.
The most important principle of cold-weather dressing is to trap warm air close to your body.
The most beneficial solution to trap this warm air is with multiple layers of clothing.
Three or four thin layers are a great deal superior than one or two thick layers.
Your 1st layer should be some kind of full-length underwear. Cotton long-johns are cheap, straightforward to find, and will do the job. However, you will discover lighter (and more expensive) alternatives, and these are worth considering in the event you plan to be participating in any strenuous outdoor activity. Mountaineering or skiing underwear is designed to wick sweat away from your skin and prevent you from becoming wet from your personal perspiration.
It can be vital to cover your whole body evenly. There is no point wearing five layers on your top half – and just a pair of jeans on your legs! Your body will lose heat from any area that is not properly protected. Pyjama pants make excellent mid-layers, as do track-suit pants or joggers. Your neck and head are major areas of heat loss, so hats, scarves, masks and hoods are essential. Two hats are much better than one – a thin cotton or synthetic skullcap with a thick wool hat on top is ideal. You can also cover your face with a ski-mask. Fantastic synthetics are very best for this. Cotton or wool will absorb your breath and it is going to quickly turn to ice. Ski goggles are also a fantastic idea – even your eyes can freeze right here if the wind-chill is strong enough.
Overlap the ends of the clothing to stop the wind from entering. Tuck your very first pair of socks into your long-johns, your second pair of socks should overlap the ends of the long-johns, and your third pair should overlap the ends of one’s trousers.
Protect your extremities! Fingers, ears, toes, and noses will be the very first things to drop off from frost-bite.
Fantastic footwear is vital. Always boots – never shoes. Moon boots are quite very good – but make sure they’re proper moon-boots and not just fashion accessories. Your Boots should be major enough to let you wear heavy wool socks over your two pairs of common socks. Better to have boots that are also significant than too small. Good circulation is crucial – so do not wear tight boots!
Keeping your fingers warm is not easy for those who are taking photographs in the aurora borealis. Thin gloves inside loose, heavily insulated mittens are the finest way to go. Only remove the mittens to take your picture, and then put them on again quickly.
The wind could be the genuine killer here. It may reduce the temperature more than you could possibly imagine.So you will need a wind-proof outer layer. It really is best if it is also waterproof – and it should be made from a fabric that “breathes”. Gore-Tex or similar allows your perspiration to evaporate, but it does not allow the wind or the rain to acquire inside.
FUEL FOR THE BODY
Eat like crazy!When you are outside, the only heat available to you is generated by your personal body. The correct clothing will help store that heat – but to create it within the initially place, your body needs fuel. You burn a lot more calories in these cold conditions, so never worry about your waistline! This can be about survival – so you may have the most beneficial feasible excuse for pigging out!
Drink plenty! Dehydration can be a serious problem here. You use loads of water just breathing in dry winter air. And extreme cold suppresses your thirst reflex, so you don’t think about drinking. When your body starts to dehydrate, it conserves fluids by reducing circulation to the extremities, so your fingers toes and ears will drop off quicker! The most effective thing to drink is water at as close to body temperature as doable. Drink plenty of water before you go out.
In the event you find yourself within a survival situation -DO NOT EAT SNOW – no matter how thirsty you feel.
Snow uses so a lot body heat to melt, it can induce rapid hypothermia and make your problems worse!
Always plan for the worst case scenario.Should you go out on foot – plan what you will do should you get lost. For those who are inside a car – plan what you are going to do for those who break down. Think through the chain of doable events and be prepared for problems. Also, tell somebody exactly where you are going and what time you expect to be back.
Take a survival kit with you – a sleeping bag, a space-blanket, some water, some food, some matches and a candle are essential.A mobile phone is a very good idea too!
If your car breaks down – stay inside!
It provides a dry, wind-proof shelter, and the rescue services can see it from the air far easier than they will see a person on foot. If you wander off into the wild, you could possibly easily become a part of the permafrost and no one will find you for a thousand years! They will dig you up in some future era, perfectly preserved, and put you on display within a museum, “Aurora-Man!”
Hopefully you will never be inside a survival situation.Such emergencies are extremely rare. With a little planning and common sense, your nights under the Aurora will bring you nothing but pleasure!