What is the Northern lights?
Northern lights are stunning natural lights displayed in the sky with wonderful colors. We can see them when the solar winds gets in contact with Earth’s atmosphere. For the people in Northern latitudes they are very usual. But probably for many of us who live in other latitudes never have seen this magical lights.
The next years will be the most active in solar storms so it will be very easy to hunt the auroras show.
When you can see Auroras?
It is true that there is no guarantee to see the Northern lights even being in the best places. But some planning of your trip could improve your chances to watch them.
You could see Northern lights from September to April although late August and mid-April are the best moment to see this mystic green lights.
This majestic show is not a film session that begins and ends at a time in a particular place. Like a natural phenomenon it depends on several factors like solar storms, clouds, winds, darkness and many more. Remember always this 3 tips:
- The best hours to watch them are between 22:00 and 23:00.
- The weather is probably the most important factor. Especially relevant are darkness and a clear sky, so is always better you go outside the cities.
- Cold temperatures improves the brightness of the lights.
You could met all this factors, but maybe you can’t see them. You could visit Icelandic Meteorological Office which has a Aurora forecast service. It will help you plan a successfull Northern lights watching.
Best places to see the Northern lights
One of the most ideal places to see the aurora borealis around the world is Iceland. The north of the country and in the fjords of the west, are highly recommended places for hunting them.
You could drive to Landmannalaugar, which is one of the best place to see the Northern lights. You need to plan it well because it doesn’t open all year and due to it’s a thermal area, you will probably need an off-road vehicle to get there.
Also other spot to hunt the Northern lights is Jökulsárlón in southeastern Iceland, a large glacial lake, beside Vatnajökull National Park.
If you have hired a car, you can drive from Reykjavík to the nearby city of Álftanes. There, you will see a wonderful view of the aurora over the city
If you are in Reykjavík you could walk to Solfar (Sun Voyager) sculpture on the harbor. It will be very cold in winter so don’t forget warm clothes. Other interesting place are Seltjarnarnes peninsula, located within Reykjavík and Perlan.
Tips for photographers: ISO: 800 - 3200 Aperture: f/2.8 - f/5.6 Shutter speed: 15 to 30 seconds have been proved effective.
Check out some cheap tours to see the auroras and Happy Northern lights hunting!
Available Northern Lights Tours: