The Aurora Borealis – Nature’s Fabulous Light Show
The Aurora Borealis, usually known as the Northern Lights, is a mesmerising, colourful, eerie show of light within the northern polar sky. It truly is triggered when solar wind from the sun collides with all the Earth’s outer magnetic atmosphere and releases its power. It can last for hours – and it’ll fill you with wonder!
WHEN CAN I SEE IT?
It happens on a regular basis, day and night, all year round. But, just like the moon and stars, it is actually only visible when the sky is dark. The northern skies never get really dark in summer time – so the best time to see The Aurora is on a clear winter’s evening. November, December, January and February give very good views – but this far north the winter nights are dangerously cold! So September, October, March and April would be the greatest months.
Exactly where Would be the Ideal Areas TO VIEW IT?
The further north the improved! In case you were to ask ten Aurora watchers to name the best spot – you’d almost certainly get ten different answers. These are my favourite spots.
Tromso, in the far north of Norway, is beyond doubt the finest city within the world, north with the arctic circle. Vibrant, sophisticated, stunningly desirable – it’s usually known as The Paris on the north. Tromso has all of the facilities you might feasible want for – and with its major airport and its magnificent harbour it is actually an incredibly quick location to have to. Ideal of all, at 400km inside the Arctic Circle it is actually far adequate north to just about guarantee good views of the Aurora on virtually any clear winter’s evening. Tromso, in my opinion, is the easiest, safest, most comfy place within the world to view the aurora borealis.
Yellowknife, on the shores in the Wonderful Slave Lake, way up in the North Western Territories, is a fantastic, vibrant town, and it really is far enough north to guarantee views in the Aurora on most clear nights.
Blachford Lake. A short hop in a ski-plane from Yellowknife, s a terrific location to keep for any genuine, rustic frontier encounter. It is also away from any light-pollution from the city, so the skies are dark, as well as the viewing is fabulous.
Canada’s Yukon has several of the greatest viewing in the globe. This can be a Big, territory. Larger than California, Arizona, Delaware and West Virginia added collectively! The majority of Europe would vanish into it without the need of a trace! But the population from the entire territory is just 40,000. You don’t see a lot of men and women here!
Watson Lake, with its Northern Lights Space and Science Centre can be a fine spot to view the Aurora – and you will find some wonderful locations to lodge. Amongst in the most effective is Nugget City Cabins. Yet another place I’ve tried and may advocate is Air Force Lodge. It truly is friendly, welcoming, clean, warm, comfortable, and remarkably cheap for this a part of the planet.
A short hop north within a float-plane from Watson Lake will get you to isolated and really beautiful Frances Lake Wilderness Lodge. You can find no roads here – this really is wilderness nation, however the Lodge is warm!
And if you need a wilderness adventure inside the truest sense in the word – take a trip to…
Nunavat could be the very best location in North America to find out the Aurora. It’s Canada’s newest, largest, and most exciting territory. It spans the Arctic Circle, and includes the magnetic North-Pole. Components of this attractive area are so far north – that the very best solution to see the Aurora – is by hunting SOUTH! It has islands bigger than Britain – with no one living on them! And its interior contains lakes so remote that they don’t even have names yet!
Nunavut (Our Land) only became a territory in its own proper in 1999 when the Inuit Tribe won the most significant land claim in history. They have now formed a territorial government within the capital Iqaluit.They are constructing their very own schools, their own roads, and their own tourist sector. Tourism is just having started right here – and there’s a lot of work to be performed. Most of Nunavut is only accessible by aircraft or dog-sled!
But in case you have that pioneering spirit of adventure – that is location! The Inuit persons will take excellent care of you, and you’ll get the best Aurora views on the planet!
Fairbanks in Alaska includes a real Northern Lights culture. It’s an excellent place to keep, straightforward(ish) to get to, along with the views of your Aurora are excellent. To share your viewing with other enthusiasts – this really is the location!
Bettles, north of Fairbanks is fantastic also. The Bettles Lodge is excellent. They even have their very own plane – so they will fly you from Fairbanks airport, suitable towards the front door of your hotel
These are my favourite places. If I had to advocate just 1 for the very first Aurora Expertise – I would say Tromso in Norway. It’s the easiest, most comfortable and safest place of all.
HINTS, Suggestions & WARNINGS.
The Arctic is a single of the harshest environments on the planet – and for those who do not take measures to keep yourself warm – the weather right here could kill you.
The most important principle of cold-weather dressing is to trap warm air close to your body.
The top approach to trap this warm air is with multiple layers of clothing.
Three or four thin layers are a lot greater than 1 or two thick layers.
Your initial layer should be some kind of full-length underwear. Cotton long-johns are cheap, straightforward to find, and will do the job. However, you can find lighter (and more expensive) alternatives, and they are worth considering in case you plan to become participating in any strenuous outdoor activity. Mountaineering or skiing underwear is designed to wick sweat away from your skin and prevent you from becoming wet from your own perspiration.
It can be vital to cover your whole body evenly. There’s no point wearing five layers on your top half – and just a pair of jeans on your legs! Your body will lose heat from any area that is not properly protected. Pyjama pants make outstanding mid-layers, as do track-suit pants or joggers. Your neck and head are key areas of heat loss, so hats, scarves, masks and hoods are essential. Two hats are superior than one particular – a thin cotton or synthetic skullcap with a thick wool hat on top is ideal. You can also cover your face with a ski-mask. Fantastic synthetics are finest for this. Cotton or wool will absorb your breath and it can quickly turn to ice. Ski goggles are also a great idea – even your eyes can freeze here if the wind-chill is strong adequate.
Overlap the ends of your clothing to stop the wind from entering. Tuck your very first pair of socks into your long-johns, your second pair of socks should overlap the ends of the long-johns, and your third pair should overlap the ends of the trousers.
Protect your extremities! Fingers, ears, toes, and noses are the 1st things to drop off from frost-bite.
Superior footwear is vital. Always boots – never shoes. Moon boots are pretty good – but make sure they are proper moon-boots and not just fashion accessories. Your Boots should be large sufficient to let you wear heavy wool socks over your two pairs of typical socks. Superior to have boots that are as well significant than too small. Superior circulation is crucial – so don’t wear tight boots!
Keeping your fingers warm is not quick in case you are taking photographs on the aurora. Thin gloves inside loose, heavily insulated mittens would be the greatest solution to go. Only remove the mittens to take your picture, and then put them on again quickly.
The wind would be the true killer here. It can reduce the temperature more than you could possibly imagine.So you will need a wind-proof outer layer. It can be very best if it’s also waterproof – and it should be made from a fabric that “breathes”. Gore-Tex or similar allows your perspiration to evaporate, but it does not allow the wind or the rain to get inside.
FUEL FOR THE BODY
Eat like crazy!When you are outside, the only heat available to you is generated by your personal body. The correct clothing will help store that heat – but to create it inside the very first location, your body needs fuel. You burn a great deal more calories in these cold conditions, so don’t worry about your waistline! This can be about survival – so you have got the most effective attainable excuse for pigging out!
Drink plenty! Dehydration can be a serious problem here. You use a lot of water just breathing in dry winter air. And extreme cold suppresses your thirst reflex, so you don’t think about drinking. When your body starts to dehydrate, it conserves fluids by reducing circulation to the extremities, so your fingers toes and ears will drop off quicker! The most effective thing to drink is water at as close to body temperature as probable. Drink plenty of water before you go out.
Should you find yourself in a survival situation -DO NOT EAT SNOW – no matter how thirsty you feel.
Snow uses so a lot body heat to melt, it’ll induce rapid hypothermia and make your problems worse!
Always plan for the worst case scenario.Should you go out on foot – plan what you will do for those who get lost. Should you are within a car – plan what you will do when you break down. Think through the chain of doable events and be prepared for problems. Also, tell somebody exactly where you are going and what time you expect to become back.
Take a survival kit with you – a sleeping bag, a space-blanket, some water, some food, some matches and a candle are essential.A mobile phone is actually a superior idea too!
If your car breaks down – stay inside!
It provides a dry, wind-proof shelter, and the rescue services can see it in the air far easier than they are able to see a person on foot. When you wander off into the wild, you may easily become a part of the permafrost and nobody will find you for any thousand years! They will dig you up in some future era, perfectly preserved, and put you on display within a museum, “Aurora-Man!”
Hopefully you will never be in a survival situation.Such emergencies are extremely rare. With a little planning and common sense, your nights under the Aurora will bring you nothing but pleasure!