What is the obsession with Northern Lights?

The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, are a natural wonder. Solar activity interacts with the Earth's magnetic field to create these stunning sky displays. Only northern Canada, Alaska, Scandinavia, and Iceland can see the Northern Lights.

What is the obsession with Northern Lights?
Photo by Alan Labisch / Unsplash

The Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis, are one of nature's most breathtaking phenomena. These spectacular displays of vibrant colors, dancing lights, and shapes in the sky are caused by solar activity interacting with the Earth's magnetic field. The Northern Lights can only be seen in certain parts of the world, including northern Canada, Alaska, Scandinavia, and Iceland.

Advantages of Northern Lights

One of the most significant advantages of traveling to see the Northern Lights is the opportunity to witness a natural wonder that few people get to experience. The beauty and uniqueness of the Northern Lights make them a bucket list item for many travelers.

The ethereal display of green, pink, purple, and red lights across the night sky creates an awe-inspiring and unforgettable experience. For those who have never seen the Northern Lights before, the chance to witness such a phenomenon is an opportunity of a lifetime.

Why is it worth experiencing?

In addition to the awe-inspiring beauty of the Northern Lights, there are also scientific advantages to seeing them. Researchers use the Northern Lights to study the Earth's magnetic field and the impact of solar activity on our planet.

Travelers who are interested in science and astronomy can use their Northern Lights trip to learn more about these topics and potentially even observe the lights from a scientific perspective.

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Is it difficult to experience this phenomenon?

However, there are also several disadvantages to traveling to see the Northern Lights. One of the most significant drawbacks is the unpredictability of the lights. While there are certain times of the year when the Northern Lights are more likely to appear, there is no guarantee that they will show up. Travelers who have a limited amount of time and money to spend on their trip may be disappointed if they do not see the lights. Additionally, some people may find it challenging to stay awake late into the night, waiting for the Northern Lights to appear.

Another disadvantage to traveling to see the Northern Lights is the cost. Since the lights can only be seen in certain parts of the world, travel expenses can be significant. Flights, accommodation, and activities can all add up, making the trip expensive. For budget-conscious travelers, the cost of a Northern Lights trip may not be feasible.

There are also environmental concerns associated with Northern Lights travel. The increase in tourism in areas where the Northern Lights can be seen can have a negative impact on the local environment. Increased traffic, littering, and damage to natural habitats are all potential consequences of tourism. Travelers who are conscious of their impact on the environment should be mindful of their behavior and take steps to minimize their impact while enjoying the Northern Lights.

Aurora australis
Photo by NOAA / Unsplash

Where can you enjoy this phenomenon?

Northern Lights are where the skies are clear, dark, and away from any light pollution.

This island nation, located in the North Atlantic, is a hotspot for Aurora chasers. The Northern Lights can be seen from anywhere in Iceland, but some of the best places to view them include the famous Blue Lagoon, Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, and Thingvellir National Park. One of the unique aspects of Iceland is that during the winter months, the nights are longer, giving more opportunities to view the Aurora.

This Scandinavian country offers a variety of viewing locations such as Tromsø, which is known as the 'Gateway to the Arctic.' Tromsø is located in the northern part of Norway and is the perfect place to catch the Aurora as it sits directly under the 'Auroral Oval,' an area in the atmosphere where the Northern Lights are most visible. Other popular places in Norway to view the Northern Lights include Svalbard, Lofoten, and Alta.

The Canadian province of Yukon:
Yukon offers breathtaking views of the Aurora. Places like Whitehorse, Dawson City, and Old Crow are popular viewing spots for the Northern Lights. During the winter months, the skies in Yukon are clear and dark, which makes it an ideal location to watch the Aurora.

This Nordic country is one that offers stunning views of the Northern Lights. Abisko National Park, located in the far north of Sweden, is one of the best places to witness the Aurora. The park is known for its clear skies, which makes it an ideal location to view the Northern Lights. Other places in Sweden that offer great views of the Aurora include Kiruna and Jukkasjärvi.

Alaska, United States:
This state is known for its vast wilderness areas, and its location makes it a perfect spot to view the Aurora. Places like Fairbanks and Anchorage offer great viewing opportunities for the Northern Lights. Additionally, Denali National Park and Preserve is another ideal location to see the Aurora as it offers a dark sky free from any light pollution.


Overall, the Northern Lights are a breathtaking natural phenomenon that can be seen from various parts of the world. Iceland, Norway, Yukon, Sweden, and Alaska offer some of the best locations to witness the Aurora. However, it is important to note that the Aurora is a natural phenomenon, and viewing them is dependent on several factors such as weather, solar activity, and light pollution. So, it's always best to plan ahead, check the weather forecasts, and consult with local Aurora guides to maximize your chances of seeing the Northern Lights.

Note: Travelers should be aware of the unpredictability of the lights, the cost of travel, and the potential environmental impact of their trip. Despite these challenges, those who are fortunate enough to see the Northern Lights will undoubtedly have a memorable and awe-inspiring experience.

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