The Northern Lights are an unforgettable natural phenomena and one of the best locations to experience them are the Northern provinces of Canada.
The Northern Lights resemble a fireworks display or light show in the night sky, appearing as a green sunset at night or merging into swathes of blue and red. The Northern Lights can appear as swirls of light which form moving arcs and spirals. One of their most dramatic displays is known as the corona effect with ribbons of light appearing directly above the viewers in the sky. Their scientific name is aurora borealis and the magnificent display is the result of charged particles from the sun interacting with the Earth’s magnetic field.
The Northern Lights can be viewed from Iceland, Greenland and the Nordic countries of Finland, Sweden and Denmark as well as in the Canadian night skies. Occasionally they have been viewed from as far away as Scotland and from North America.
The best time of year to view the Northern Lights is from late September until late March, although this varies: in the Yukon territories any time from late August to April provides a good chance of catching the Northern Lights. During periods of activity they can be seen throughout the night from about 6.00pm but the usual time for the light displays to be at their peak is between 10.00pm and 11.00pm.
To view the Northern Lights it is important that it is a cloudless night – so it is important to keep an eye on the weather forecast. Solar activity helps so a solar storm is always useful! Northern Light seekers can keep an eye on www.spaceweather.com to check astral conditions.
There are many tour companies in Canada holding excursions to view the Northern Lights. Most of these accept major credit cards so an online credit card application is always helpful. Companies operate in Yukon, Manitoba and Ontario among other places. Some packages arrange viewing from tepees, while others include dog-sled riding, luxury hotel stays or accommodation in remote log cabins. For those thinking of visiting Yukon in February there is even a Frostbite Music Festival which runs from February 14th – February 18th.