Although we may be biased, a trip to Alaska to visit the Arctic Circle is an experience everyone should encounter. Even more amazing and breathtaking are the Northern Lights displays we are treated to regularly. While this phenomenon is visible throughout the northern and southern hemispheres, the lights, also known as “Aurora Borealis” in the north, are observable throughout Alaska.
What are the Northern Lights?
The Northern Lights are the “bright dancing lights of the aurora are actually collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere.” A true sight to see, they are the effect of collisions between gaseous particles in Earth’s atmosphere with charged particles emitted from the Sun’s atmosphere. The colors of the lights are based on the type of gas particles that collide. Pale green and pink are the most common colors of the lights; however, shades of red, yellow, green, blue and violet have also been recorded, according to Northern Lights Centre. The lights also appear in many forms, including scattered clouds of light, flowing curtains and shooting rays, lighting up the sky.
The best place and time to watch the Northern Lights
Again, we may be partial, but the best place to watch the Northern Lights is hands-down, in Alaska. On our Aurora Borealis Tour, during the summer and winter months, we take guests to areas where the lights are most visible, weather permitting (cloudless nights are best for viewing) of course! In fact, this year is supposed to be latest “peak period” for the lights. The extended darkness of winter provides us ample time to watch in awe the amazing “show”.
Viewing the Northern Lights in Alaska on an Arctic Circle Tour will surely prove to be a once in a lifetime opportunity. If you are not a local, how many times do you think you will have the chance to see the sky lit up in a variety of colors? With 1st Alaska Outdoor School, you will not only see the lights, but along the way, we will offer a plethora of information about the Northern Lights and the Arctic Circle.
Posted by: Ralf Dobrovolny