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Catching the northern lights, or aurora borealis, used to be a chance occasion, a rare fluke for those lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. But nowadays, scientists have figured out more accurate ways to predict when and where the northern lights will appear.
You can also check out the Space Weather Prediction Center, where scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration monitor and track the likelihood of the aurora happening.
My Aurora Forecast app shows a map of the best locations in the world for viewing the lights now or weeks from now.
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Twenty minutes outside the Yukon city of Whitehorse, Northern Lights Resort recently added three new glass chalets, with prime nighttime viewing of the northern lights and three-night packages (from $1,190). Or catch the lights from a hot tub: the ne...
Here’s a hotel amenity we can get behind: at the 51-room Hotel Rangá (from $428) in southern Iceland, if you select the aurora wake-up service, the hotel will buzz your in-room phone whenever the lights appear at night, ensuring you won’t miss the spectacle. O...
Generally speaking, the best time of year to see the northern lights is from late August to mid-April, because those are the darkest months of the year, but you can certainly catch the aurora in midsummer if you time it right. The best sightings will occur during the darkest hours of the night, b...
If Santa Claus lives anywhere, it might be Levi, a charming village fit for elves 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle in the heart of Finnish Lapland. In winter, Levi is home to one of the biggest ski resorts in Finland, but many people also come here for the northern lights. Sleep in one of 24 ...
From August to April, you can see the northern lights in Fairbanks on most clear nights. The city even has its own aurora tracker for the latest status from six prime viewing locations around the area. S...
Backcountry skiers visit Norway’s Lyngen Alps in winter for the legendary ski touring. While there, they might be treated to a brilliant showing of the northern lights. Stay at the eight-room boutique Lyngen Lodge (from $234) and you’ll have guided ba...
This 218,000-acre national park is one of the most remote northern spots in the lower 48.
The International Dark-Sky Association designated it an official dark sky park in 2020, meaning there’s minimal light pollution way out here. Pitch a tent at one...
"What is called genius is the abundance of life and health." - Thoreau
The beautiful night sky.
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The best places to see the northern lights are Alaska and northern Canada, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. During periods of particularly active solar flares, the lights can be seen in Scotland and northern England.
Winter is usually the best time to see the northern lights, due to lower leve...
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