FAQ - Northern Lights
You have some questions regarding the Northern Lights? We collected here most frequently asked Questions and Answers about the Northern Lights, also called Aurora Borealis. Get to know about the best time and places to see Northern Lights, chances and predictions.
The best month to see Northern Lights are September, October and February and March. Also the start and ends of the season so end of August and the first half of April are really good. If you travel during this month you usually have good chances to see the Northern Lights. During this months Lapland has usually quite stable weather conditions and statistically the best chances to catch the Northern Lights.
Best month for Travelling
Further, we suggest to travel during those month because days are pretty long so you have time for other activities and time to enjoy beautiful Lapland. In September and October lakes and rivers in Lapland won’t be frozen yet and you can see the reflection on the Northern Lights in the water. In January, February and March you’ll have a snowy scenery.
The most common color to see Northern Lights with bare eye is green. If the solar activity is strong, there is the possibility to also see pink appearing on the sky. The red part is visible only really really rarely, while blue is never visible with the bare eye. With the camera you can often see the colors better and more intense.
The best places to see the Northern Lights are at or above the Arctic Circle. Rovaniemi for example is located almost exactly at the Arctic Circle. In general there is no specific place which is the best to see the Northern Lights from. It depends of the weather and coloudiness as well as the light pollution and open views.
Northern Lights are in general hard to predict, but there are several tools how to find out if there is a chance to see the Aurora. First of all you need a dark and clear sky. That’s why we are using several weather maps and forecasts to find out the best place to go. And second of all there needs to be a decent Solar Activity. On our Northern Lights Tour we are taking all this into consideration to find the best spot and timing.
In most nights in the Aurora Season in (End of August until Mid of April in Rovaniemi) the Aurora activity is strong enough that some Aurora can be seen on the sky. But note that that you always need a clear sky to be able to see it, that’s why for some nights it can be impossible because of the cloud coverage. On our Northern Lights Tours we have had so far a success rate of 98% (100% in Aurora Road Trips) because we are checking carefully all parameters.
Rovaniemi and general finish Lapland is in our opinion one of the best places to see the Northern Lights. The reason is that weather conditions are often quite predictable and you have plenty of options to move to different directions in case the weather is bad in one place.
The longer you stay the better get your chances and possibilities to see the Northern Lights. We would suggest to always stay at least 3-4 nights to have a safer chance. In November and December you should calculate even around 1 week because from our experience weather conditions are worse in that period.
Northern Lights are created by an interaction of the Solar Wind with the Magnetosphere. The electrons coming from the sun are hitting the gas particles in the upper atmosphere, which makes them glow in different colors. Besides this small explanation, there is much more to get to know about the appearance of the Northern Lights. We are happy to explain you if you join one of our Tours.
You can take pictures and if the Northern Lights are bright, also a video of the Northern Lights with the phone. But of course the quality will be far worse then with a professional camera.