When Is The Best Time To See The Northern Lights

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The possibility of seeing the northern lights for the first time was definitely a driving force when I decided to travel to Norway with my friend Betty from NoMoon Travel in mid-December. I mean, who doesn’t have this astronomical phenomenon on their bucket list, right? December also seemed to be one of the best times to see the northern lights in Norway in the areas we were going to: Lofoten and Tromsø. I participate in everything.

When Is The Best Time To See The Northern Lights

When Is The Best Time To See The Northern Lights

The thing is, we had a lot of other things planned for those 10 days, so seeing the northern lights wasn’t the only purpose of the trip. That’s all well and good, but when you combine our low commitment with dodgy forecasts and a bit of sleep deprivation, our Northern Lights experience wasn’t quite as spectacular as I’d hoped it would be.

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Although we saw her a few times during our 10 day trip to the Norwegian coast, she was very dimly lit and not at all the magical dance phenomenon I imagined. Still, I’m glad I got to witness them, because some weren’t even that lucky!

When Is The Best Time To See The Northern Lights

In the process, however, I learned a lot about what makes it more likely to see the Northern Lights and how best to plan your trip if that is the main reason for your visit. If you’re planning a similar adventure, I’d love to share all this new knowledge with you, so read on to find out all my best tips and tricks, including the best time to see the Northern Lights in Norway, special travel us created, a fun app to track them and more.

Overall, what makes Norway a great place to see the Northern Lights is that it is easy to get to and has a much milder climate than many other places around the world at the same latitude thanks to the warm Gulf Stream.

When Is The Best Time To See The Northern Lights

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Of course, there are other places you can go to experience the Northern Lights, but Norway as a country has so much to offer in general that even if you’ve never seen the Northern Lights, you’re sure to have an amazing time. I promise.

First, if you want to try your hand at aurora tracking, it’s helpful to know what the aurora is.

When Is The Best Time To See The Northern Lights

In a nutshell, the aurora borealis is a phenomenon when charged particles emitted by the sun travel through the Earth’s atmosphere and collide with particles of gases such as nitrogen and oxygen (producing different colors depending on which particles come in contact).

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Powerful solar winds constantly bring charged particles to Earth, but these solar winds are often deflected by Earth’s strong magnetic field. Because the Earth’s magnetic field is weaker near the poles, auroras most often appear near the poles when charged particles pass through.

When Is The Best Time To See The Northern Lights

Green and yellow are the most common colors for this process, but other colors such as pink, red, purple and blue are also possible, depending on the material being hit and the height above the Earth’s surface.

Did you know that the Southern Lights (also known as the Aurora Australis) actually exist? It’s just that there aren’t as accessible places to see them as the Northern Lights, so they’re less well known.

When Is The Best Time To See The Northern Lights

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Many people do not realize that the northern lights are always visible, but they are not always visible due to the large variation in daylight throughout the year in these parts of the world. .

Here are some factors that affect the best conditions for viewing the northern lights:

When Is The Best Time To See The Northern Lights

You cannot see the northern lights with the naked eye during the day, which is why winter in Norway is a popular time to observe the phenomenon, as there are more dark hours. Light pollution must also be considered. The further from city lights the better.

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Clouds, snow and storms can obscure the visibility of the aurora borealis, so the clearer the sky, the more likely you are to see them.

When Is The Best Time To See The Northern Lights

Solar activity is constantly fluctuating, meaning that some days will naturally be stronger than others. In addition to natural diurnal fluctuations in solar activity, a period called solar maximum occurs every 11 years during the day and causes the greatest activity.

You don’t have to try to see the Northern Lights every 11 years, but that’s naturally the best year to see them (next year is 2024).

When Is The Best Time To See The Northern Lights

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Contrary to popular belief, being in the best position to see the northern lights is not as simple as being in the north. The most aurora activity occurs between 65-75 degrees north latitude (essentially where the Arctic Circle begins), which means that if you are at the North Pole, your chances of seeing the lights are less than in northern Norway.

The areas covered by the best aurora activity look like a circle rather than a tight circle (this map gives a nice illustration), so it’s best to focus on visiting those areas within that particular latitude. Aurora borealis activity has been seen below this latitude before, but it is rare.

When Is The Best Time To See The Northern Lights

In winter, the best time to see the Northern Lights is between 9:00 PM and 1:00 AM, although there are plenty of people who can see the Northern Lights outside of this time as long as there is darkness.

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Unfortunately, there is no perfect answer to this question as there are pros and cons to the time of year to see the northern lights in Norway.

When Is The Best Time To See The Northern Lights

Statistically, these are the months with the most solar activity and clearest skies, but since there is still plenty of daylight, there are fewer opportunities for tourists to try to catch this spectacular light show during the day.

This is the darkest time of the year in Norway, known as the polar night, and offers the most hours to observe the northern lights. While the heart of winter brings more cloud cover and the chance of snow, there are plenty of other snow-themed events if you haven’t been lucky enough to see the Northern Lights!

When Is The Best Time To See The Northern Lights

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Similar to the autumn months, March in Norway starts to produce more sunlight, but also sees more potential solar activity.

Outside of these months, seeing the northern lights becomes more and more difficult as the hours of night decrease. The northern lights are barely visible due to the midnight sun from mid-May to mid-July, when the sun almost never sets and shines 24 hours a day.

When Is The Best Time To See The Northern Lights

Although it is technically possible to see the northern lights in Norway without sunlight, the best viewing time is between 9pm and 1am.

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So, now that you know the most important factors for your successful Northern Lights experience in Norway, how do you start planning a trip that will make it happen? Here are some important things to keep in mind when planning your Northern Lights expedition:

When Is The Best Time To See The Northern Lights

Unfortunately, Oslo is not the best place to see the northern lights, as it is in the southern part of Norway, under the northern lights. If you want to get the best view of Lofoten, Tromsø or Svalbard, it is best to go north.

Even in our 10-day experience in Norway and many attempts to see the lights, we never got the totally wow-worthy show I was after.

When Is The Best Time To See The Northern Lights

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If you want to see the northern lights, your best bet is to stay in the country as long as possible, as conditions and solar activity are unpredictable and constantly changing. You simply cannot go to Norway for a long weekend and hope to cross this unforgettable experience off your bucket list.

There are many Northern Lights tours in Norway, from chase tours where a car takes you to the most active spots, to tours where you spend the night in a hotel hoping they will see you. I recommend trying different ways and sleeping as many nights as possible.

When Is The Best Time To See The Northern Lights

Since the best time to see the lights is in the middle of the night, there are hotels that offer this service, so if you don’t want to stay up all night on your trip to Norway, you can get

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