Northern Lights myths & tricks to make your aurora journey lit

The state of Alaska occurs to be the most effective locations on the earth to see the Northern Lights, scientifically often called the Aurora Borealis. And, since we’re the airline with essentially the most flights to Alaska, we all know a factor or two about seeing this pure surprise.

“I’ve seen the aurora at the least 40 instances. My most dependable spot is Ester Dome, simply exterior of Fairbanks. Drive as much as the antennas and adjoining is a big snowfield you may stroll on. Should you’re visiting Anchorage, I’ve had the most effective luck seeing the Northern Lights from the top of the runway (at Ted Stevens Anchorage Worldwide Airport) close to Earthquake Park. In my expertise, I’ve discovered that midnight to 1:30 a.m. is when the lights are most energetic.”  – Kevin, Supervisor of Market & Aggressive Evaluation

“I’ve had the most effective luck seeing the lights in and round Fairbanks in comparison with wherever else – it usually has clearer skies. I usually monitor the aurora forecast offered by the College of Alaska Fairbanks. My recommendation is to search out circumstances the place skies are forecasted to be clear and the aurora Kp (power) forecast is excessive. If reserving a visit far out the place you’re not sure in regards to the climate, it’s an excellent concept to plan to remain at the least a number of days.” – Garrison, Yield Administration Analyst 

“My favourite spot to view the lights is from Chena Scorching Springs Resort exterior Fairbanks. It’s a beautiful spot to attend for the aurora whereas soaking within the scorching springs.” – Jacqueline, Supervisor Income Administration 

Discover Fairbanks:

In an early Aurora Season look, the Northern Lights create a spectacular show over Chena Lake Outside Recreation Space. Photograph by Andy Witteman.

Should you’re visiting Fairbanks, be sure you take a look at Aurora Pointe, Murphy Dome, Cleary Summit, Chena Lakes Recreation space, or up the Elliott Freeway. These provide a few of the greatest views of the lights, simply ensure you go at evening. Should you choose to look at the Northern Lights indoors, check out a heated “aurorium” cabin, yurt or lodge.

Professional tip: Learn tips on how to {photograph} the Northern Lights

Although the Northern Lights are extra vibrant a number of miles out of city the place it’s darker, you’ll have the ability to see the Northern Lights in and round Fairbanks too. Many lodging’ entrance desks will even provide a wake-up name for friends when the Northern Lights seem.

You’ll be able to study extra about aurora season (usually Aug. 21 – April 21) on Discover Fairbanks’ web site.

Cracking Northern Lights myths:

There are fairly a number of misconceptions in regards to the Northern Lights, and when and the way they seem. Mark Conde, a professor of physics and a geophysicist on the College of Alaska Fairbanks, dispelled some for us under.

A dramatic time lapse of the celebs and Aurora simply exterior of Fairbanks, Alaska throughout Aurora Season. Photograph by Sherman Hogue, Discover Fairbanks.

1. You’ll be able to flip the Northern Lights on and off. – MYTH

“There’s no recognized means for human expertise to show the naturally-occurring aurora on and off. There additionally aren’t any human amenities that may match the overall energy of the energetic aurora – that energy might be greater than 100 gigawatts, which is so much. If somebody needed to generate that a lot energy, they would want a whole electrical energy grid.”

2. The Northern Lights make noise. – TRUE, ish

“There are quite a few experiences of the aurora producing audible sounds. Science doesn’t have a very good clarification for the way or why this happens, nor any actually definitive measurements to point out that it does. There are sufficient first-hand human experiences that, in my view, could be unwise to fully low cost any chance that there’s something to this. The forms of sounds that individuals report listening to are hissing or crackling. There are recommendations that seems like this can be attributable to electrical discharges from airborne ice crystals or spruce needles. This doesn’t essentially imply that the aurora is making noise.

“I personally have heard hissing from radios or intercom techniques when the aurora is energetic. This isn’t auroral sound. Its electrical interference related to the aurora being become sound by the radio or intercom.”

3. The aurora solely occurs at evening. – MYTH

“The aurora occurs in any respect hours of the day. Nonetheless, you may solely see the aurora if it’s darkish (until you’ve gotten a spacecraft or very particular ground-based tools). An individual won’t ever have the ability to see the aurora from the bottom with their unaided eyes throughout full daylight. Nonetheless, it’s not unusual for people to see the aurora by eye throughout twilight, which isn’t actually evening.

Additionally, if you happen to journey far sufficient north within the winter, it’s darkish through the day and then you definately’ll have the ability to see the daytime aurora. Spacecraft and particular ground-based devices inform us that brilliant aurora do happen in broad daylight. My very own graduate research was based mostly on seeing the aurora within the daytime blue sky above Antarctica, so it’s not a nighttime-only phenomenon.”

4. Winter is the one time you may see the Northern Lights. – MYTH

“In excessive latitude places like Fairbanks, the sky gained’t be darkish sufficient in the summertime if you happen to’re observing the aurora by eye from the bottom. However throughout a magnetic storm at photo voltaic most, the aurora expands a great distance towards the equator, at the same time as far south as Texas. At mid-latitudes, comparable to these within the continental U.S., will probably be darkish at midnight, even in the summertime. So, observers in these places can and do see the aurora in the summertime.”

5. Clear skies trigger the aurora to happen. – MYTH

“Should you’re watching the aurora from the bottom, you gained’t have the ability to see it if it’s cloudy as a result of the aurora happens above the clouds. It’s simple to take your private expertise of seeing the aurora when the sky is evident. We now have devices that may see auroral mild by way of the clouds. We even have spacecraft viewing them from above. Each methods present that the aurora happens no matter whether or not the sky under is evident or cloudy.”

You’re now one step nearer to your aurora journey — Head north to Alaska in your likelihood to chase the lights by reserving your flight on

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