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Is January the Best Time to Visit Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)?

By: Mary Jones

travelling knowledge

Northern Lights, (Aurora Borealis)

The best time to visit the Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, depends on several factors, primarily your location and personal preferences. Here are some key considerations:

Northern Lights Location

Choose a high-latitude location near the Arctic Circle for the best chances of seeing the Northern Lights. Popular destinations include Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Canada, and Alaska.

Northern Lights Season

The prime Northern Lights season typically runs from late September to early April. Winter months with long nights offer the best viewing opportunities.

Check Clear Skies for Northern Lights

Check local weather forecasts and aim for destinations with clear, dark skies, as clouds can obstruct the view of the auroras.

Ignore Moon Phase

Plan your trip around the lunar calendar to coincide with a dark moonless night, as moonlight can diminish the visibility of the Northern Lights.

Solar Activity Role in Northern Lights

Keep an eye on solar activity forecasts, as the intensity and frequency of the Northern Lights are influenced by solar storms and sunspots.

Duration of Stays to see Northern Lights

Increase your chances of witnessing the Northern Lights by staying for several nights in your chosen location, as auroras can be unpredictable.

Local Tours and Guides in Aurora

Consider joining guided Northern Lights tours or hiring knowledgeable guides who can take you to prime viewing spots and provide insights about the phenomenon.

Camera and Equipment to Capture Northern Lights

If you want to capture the Northern Lights on camera, bring a tripod and a DSLR camera with manual settings for long-exposure photography.

Warm Clothing for  Long Nights

Since you'll likely be visiting during the winter, pack warm clothing, including insulated layers, a winter coat, gloves, and a hat to stay comfortable during long nights of viewing.

Personal Preferences for Northern Lights

Tailor your trip based on your personal preferences. Some travelers prefer the quiet solitude of remote locations, while others enjoy the amenities and activities available in larger towns near prime viewing areas.

Northern Lights 2023

By considering these factors and planning your visit accordingly, you can maximize your chances of witnessing the breathtaking beauty of the Northern Lights.