Where can one see the Northern Lights?

You can see them regularly in Iceland, Northern Norway, Finland, Sweden, Siberia, Canada, Alaska and Greenland. This is due to the so called auroral ovals, that are located above theses regions (see left part of the picture below). In rare occasions Northern Lights can be seen in places much more south. In general the visibility of Northern Lights is better in places with less light pollution. Also cloud coverage influences the visibility of Northern Lights and hence where you can see them.

Auroral Oval (source -  spaceweatherlive.com)(Source: http://www.spaceweatherlive.com/en/auroral-activity/auroral-oval)

The locations from where Northern Lights can be seen actually changes from day to day. In case of high aurora activity caused by an extensive solar wind activity Northern Lights can be seen much more south than on other days. A method to determine on which locations Northern Lights can be seen is connected to the Kp-index (see here for an explanation of this index). The higher this index is the more south the potential visibility is. However, it is important to notice that it is not the regular geographical latitude that matters, but the corrected magnetic latitude. An overview over the corrected magnetic latitude of different places can be found here. On this page you can also find a table that shows you which value of the Kp-index is needed for the possibility to spot Northern Lights at different magnetic latitude. In Reykjavik, Iceland for example a Kp-Index of 2 is needed.

Sources:
http://pwg.gsfc.nasa.gov/polar/EPO/northern_lights/aurora_broch.pdf
http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/Aurora/

 

Information about Northern Lights in different countries

Iceland

Northern Lights can be seen all over the country. The further away from cities and their light pollution, the better is the potential visibility. The glacier lagoon Jokulsarlon in the southern part of Iceland offers a great scenery to see Northern Lights.

Norway

The city of Trömsö and it surroundings over a great place to observe the Northern Lights during the winter months.

http://www.visitnorway.com/what-to-do/attractions-culture/nature-attractions-in-norway/the-northern-lights/what-are-the-northern-lights/

 Sweden

In Sweden Northern Lights can be best seen in the Northern part of the country. the city of Kiruna and it surroundings offer a great base for your Northern Lights hunt in Sweden. Not too far from Kiruna one can also find the world famous Ice Hotel.

https://sweden.se/nature/top-places-in-sweden-to-watch-the-northern-lights

Finland

In the northern region of Lapland in Finland Northern Lights can be regularly seen during winter. The biggest city in this region is called Rovaniemi.

http://www.visitfinland.com/article/on-the-hunt-for-the-northern-lights/
http://cc.oulu.fi/~thu/Aurora/forecast.html
http://aurora.fmi.fi/public_service/

Canada

Canada has a variety of good location to see Northern Lights. Especially the northwestern part of Canada is a good destination for Northern Lights hunters.

http://www.northernlightscentre.ca/northernlights.html

http://www.aurorawatch.ca/

Siberia

http://rbth.co.uk/articles/2012/09/12/catching_up_with_northern_lights_in_russias_arctic_circle_18217.html

Greenland

Greenland is located perfectly for Northern Lights hunt and is the perfect destination for adventurers Northern Light hunters. Enjoy the Northern Lights in a stunning environment.

http://www.greenland.com/en/about-greenland/nature-climate/northern-lights-aurora-borealis/

Alaska

In the state of Alaska the area around Fairbanks offers good circumstances to go on Northern Light hunts.

http://www.alaska.org/things-to-do/northern-lights-viewin

 

When can one see Northern Lights? (LINK)

Myths and Stories about Northern Lights? (LINK)

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