Some phenomena on Earth is so breathtakingly beautiful and fascinating, it shakes up our whole being. Those who have witnessed the northern lights know this feeling. Also called the Aurora Borealis, the northern lights offer us a glimpse of the magic happening in the magnetosphere as solar winds breeze past our little planet. If you want to see this display for yourself, here’s how to do it:
1. Pick the right time of year.
While there’s no “best” time of year when the aurora is most active, you do want to ensure that you’ll have the best chance of seeing the lights, which means no precipitation and plenty of darkness. Generally, for the areas where the lights are most visible, this makes the months between August and April the best time.
2. Head north.
There called the northern lights for good reason. The best place to see the lights is in countries as far north as you can get. They’re sometimes visible in US states like Montana and Michigan, but the prime places to go are Canada, Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Iceland.
3. Wait for a clear night and get as far away from city lights as possible.
You can check an aurora borealis tracker to see if there’s enough sun activity to produce the light show, but in general the display is notoriously unpredictable. The best thing to do is wait for solar flares or solar activity, head north during the right months, then observe the skies on a cloudless night. City lights can obviously affect visibility, so it’s best to find a dark location with no light pollution. The only light you’ll want to see is the dancing display of the aurora borealis streaking across the sky.