The Magical Aurora lights: A must-watch phenomena

Most of the travelers visit places to get a first-hand and complete experience. Their main motive is to see any monument, mountain, waterfalls, forests, wild-life etc.; anything that is there on this planet Earth. But, one phenomena that attracts travelers to it, is literally out of this world! something we can’t touch. People visit a few specific places, not to experience that place, but this space magic.

That phenomena is the Aurora lights or polar lights. They are a dazzling display of colorful lights on an otherwise dull black night sky. When the Solar winds disturb Earth’s magnetosphere, the charged particles collide with the natural gases that are present in our atmosphere, causing ionization which emit lights same as the neon lights, but cooler and on a large scale.

These lights are not static, but they move according to the wind strength & direction and thus, dance! They occur near both, the North Pole and South Pole. Precisely, at about 10-20 degree latitude away from the poles. They can occur throughout the year, but the best times are when the nights are longer.

Aurora Borealis

The northern lights are primarily known as the Aurora Borealis which occur mostly between the latitudes of 66-69 degrees. Most of them occur in different shades of green, although some other colors may also be seen. The best time to spot them is between the months of October to March. Since there is more landmass in the Northern Hemisphere, people get more options of places to see them:

  • Alaska: Almost all the Alaska region is amazing for spotting the Auroras; though Fairbanks is a good city in the aurora oval.

  • Canada: The northern region of this country is best. Some of the popular places are Nunavut, Yukon, and the north-west region that includes Yellowknife.

  • Iceland: This tiny beautiful country is popular for Aurora tourism. Especially, the places of Eldborgahraun, Seltjarnarnes in Reykjavik, Djúpavík, Látrabjarg/Westfjords, and Vik.

  • Greenland: The southern areas of this country are good, as the northern and central parts become far north for the Aurora region. The two best places here are Nuuk and Ilulissat.

  • Europe: The countries of Sweden, Norway and Finland fall in the Aurora region. As you escape the city lights, most of the places here become perfect for Aurora spotting. Some of them are Tarendo, Abisko, Jukkasjarvi, Kakslauttanen, Tromso, Alta, Bodo, Andoya, Svalbard, Harstad, etc.

  • Russia: All the Northern region of this vast country is good for Aurora experience. Some of the tourist friendly locations are Arkhangelsk, Murmansk, and Petrozavodsk.

Aurora Australis

The southern lights as called as Aurora Australis. As compared to their northern counterparts, besides the different green shades in majority, these lights exhibit more of other colors like pink, shades of red, orange, purple, and even gold! The best chance to spot the Aurora Australis is during April to September, opposite to the northern lights. There are comparatively less options of places in the Southern Hemisphere because of less landmass. Some of them are:

  • New Zealand: It is the farthest country of human settlement on the Southern Hemisphere apart from the Antarctica. Some of the best aurora spots are Stewart Island, Queenstown, lake Tekapo, Invercargill, and Great Barrier Island.

  • Australia: Only the southern parts of this big country are good for aurora viewing. Mount Wellington & Victoria on the mainland and the island of Tasmania are popular for Aurora tourism. In Tasmania, the Coles bay and Boronia Reserve should be preferred.

  • South America: The countries of Chile and Argentina are on the southernmost tip of this continent. Some of the popular places here are Ushuaia in Argentina, Falkland Islands of the UK, South Georgia Islands, and the mountainous region of Chile.

  • Antarctica: If you can brave the inhospitable climate of sub-zero temperatures and howling winds, you are in for a treat to get a stunning view of the Aurora Australis. The coastal parts of this snow-clad continent are best viewing spots for this otherworldly phenomenon.

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