The Best Place To See The Northern Lights

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Even though the nights are drawing in and the colder climes of winter are starting to encroach onto our doorsteps there's still plenty to be cheerful about despite the end of the summer.
Dark skies on a clear night all add up to a wonderful evening of astronomy as anyone who's wielded a telescope will no doubt testify however, if you're interested in watching a natural phenomenon that is out of this world for a far more colourful reason then read on.
The Northern Lights or aurora borealis have long been a fascination for star gazers and scientists alike and if you'd like to find out some of the hottest spots on the planet to catch the moment when the solar wind's potent electrons clash with the earth's atmosphere then right here's where you start.

UK
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Timing is everything if you're keen on capturing the multi-coloured ribbons in the sky whilst in the UK as you need to be watching right at the moment when a geo-magnetic storm is in evidence which can often be quite short-lived. The further north you travel the better and if you can get to the furthest reaches of Scotland you'll stand every chance, especially around the autumn, of seeing something quite spectacular.
Iceland
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Again, the months of September and October offer the best opportunity of catching the Northern Lights in Iceland however, be prepared to stay up late and also wrap up warm as things can get mighty chilly. One of the best spots is to be found in the remote west coast region of the island and basing yourself near Glymur Waterfall and the stunning Hvalfjordur Fjord will no doubt give you plenty to do in the daylight hours too.

Alaska
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Anyone considering undertaking their Alaska tours any time soon will no doubt be excited at the prospect of a night's sky filled with colourful streaks and anywhere north of Anchorage is probably a safe bet especially around the winter months of December and January. Denali National Park and Fairbanks are also well-regarded as perfect places to watch the skies and with little or no light pollution Alaska is pretty much considered to be the best location in the US for the northern lights.

Canada
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Of course, cross the border into Canada and you'll really be pushing the aurora borealis button and basing yourself within the Rocky Mountains will certainly give you every chance of getting your very own light show free of charge. Anywhere north of Alberta is certainly on the right trail and as you get closer to the northwesterly borders with Alaska, namely the Yukon region, you'll be sure to find your end goal working to full effect.
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Norway
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Head north in Norway and you'll find yourself above the Arctic Circle and classic Northern Lights sighting territory. The Lofoten Islands, to the west of Narvik, are an exceptional location and if you're able to follow the coastline all the way northwards you'll discover rural areas around Tromso which also offer fantastic displays especially around September and October and also as the winter turns to spring i.e. late February and into March.

Sweden
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Thanks to Sweden's proximity to the Arctic Circle a large percentage of the country can be found within the auroral oval area which is well-known as a hot spot for the Northern Lights. Any time from September through to mid-April has produced the natural phenomenon and heading to Sweden around Christmas is exactly the right idea if you're looking for an extra special present. Abisko National Park on the borders with northern Norway is ripe for light and catching the skies over a lake is just a once-in-a-lifetime experience not to be missed.
Chris can't wait to see the Northern Lights on his next trip to Canada and the Rocky Mountains.

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The Best Place To See The Northern Lights

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