In search of the North­ern Lights

Travel Bulletin - - POLAR REGIONS -

Those lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the elu­sive Aurora Bo­re­alis will never for­get the al­lure of its ce­les­tial glow. Of­ten de­scribed as the ‘great­est light show on Earth’, the North­ern Lights are a nat­u­rally oc­cur­ring won­der pro­duced when elec­tri­cally-charged par­ti­cles from the sun col­lide with the Earth’s at­mos­phere, re­act­ing with oxy­gen and ni­tro­gen atoms. What re­sults is an em­bla­zoned sky streaked in hues of pink, green, yel­low, blue and vi­o­let. The fleet­ing spec­ta­cle can be tricky to spot though, so trav­el­bul­letin has come up with a few tips to help you tick this one off the bucket list. Septem­ber and March as a fan­tas­tic time for aurora hunt­ing, with fre­quent out­bursts of au­ro­ral sub-storms, or plumes of light, com­monly sighted. Com­plete dark­ness and clear skies are needed when at­tempt­ing to chase the ce­les­tial dis­play, but make sure you rug up warm as the best time to view it is of­ten be­tween the hours of 10pm and 2am lo­cal time. in im­mers­ing them­selves in a po­lar re­gion. Dur­ing the po­lar win­ter, the en­tire area is cloaked in dark­ness for 24-hours across 28 days, mean­ing the lights can even be seen dur­ing the day­time. Many trav­ellers also visit Reyk­javik in Ice­land for the light show. In fact, just ear­lier this year the Rey­javik Coun­cil an­nounced its de­ci­sion to switch off street lights in se­lected parts of the Ice­landic cap­i­tal just so those in the city could en­joy the swirling pa­rade. In the US, Alaska’s Fair­banks city is an­other hot spot to see the North­ern Lights. Whilst in some places we’d rec­om­mend you rug up warm, in Fair­banks the method of choice for aurora spot­ting is to strip down and soak up the glory in nat­u­rally formed hot springs.

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