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3. Alaska

Most aurorae occur within a geographical area called the ‘auroral zone’, a ring-shaped region around the North Pole with a high rate of occurrences and activity.

At Fairbanks in Alaska, which is squarely inside this zone, you’ve got one of the best chances of seeing the lights and naturally the further you get from the city the brighter they’ll look.
Use the University of Alaska’s northern lights forecast site to plan your visit.


4. Canada

In British Columbia’s Provincial Park, it’s possible to capture the stunning lights set off beautifully by star trails, such as in the photograph above.  

While what you see with the naked eye clearly won’t look exactly like this (star trails, or the motion of stars, are photographed with long-exposure times of up to 15 minutes), the colours here have been particularly rich over the past few months, with the variety of shades including red, yellow, green, blue and violet.


5. Norway

The northern town of Tromsø is another popular place within the ‘zone’ and is known for the swirling green lights which often light up the night skies here. 

The earth’s rotation means that Tromsø moves into the northern lights zone around 6pm and leaves it between midnight and 2am, so there’s just a short window in which to catch them.

But the good news is at least you don’t feel obliged to stay up all night in the cold.


Photos: Thinkstock; TNT


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