Best Time to see the Northern Lights in Iceland

The Best Time to see the Northern Lights in Iceland

If you have never seen a northern light show, you have no clue what you are missing out on. This miracle happens often, but certain times are more likely than others. For you to be in the right place at the right time, you may have to try and plan ahead. Even then it may greatly depend on the weather at that time. Are you planning a trip to Iceland in the near future? Are you hoping to see one of nature’s most beautiful light shows? If so, here is what you need to know when trying to decide when the best time to see the northern lights in Iceland may be.

What Are the Northern Lights?

“Aurora australis panorama”. Licensed under GFDL 1.2 via Wikimedia Commons

Northern lights are something that happens naturally. It is a collision of gas and particles. These particles come from the sun and fill our Earth. When it collides with certain gases, it creates a kind of spark. The most unique part of it is, that the color variations within the northern lights show is caused by the type of gas that is sparking at that moment.

Some of the colors you may see when looking at the northern lights is various shades of green. They are the most common and caused by oxygen molecules that are roughly 60 miles above the earth. If you see red auroras, you are looking at oxygen that is closer to 200 miles up. This is a rare treat and you should be proud of yourself for seeing it. If you see blue or a purplish-red color you are actually seeing nitrogen.

Best Viewing Times in Iceland

No matter where you are in the world, you will stand a better chance of seeing the northern lights or Aurora Borealis is to watch the sky on dark, clear nights. They are best viewed from areas as close to the North Pole as you can get. Pretty much everyone agrees that if you want to see them, you stand the best chance if you are able to travel to Iceland during the winter months, when the sky is clear, the nights are long, and in most cases, the coldest nights are the best.

If you travel between September and mid-April, you do stand a fair chance of seeing the northern lights. The closer to midwinter you can plan your trip, the better off you are. You will also need to watch the local Iceland weather to find out about cloud coverage and other things that may interfere with you seeing them.

However, with all of the planning you may put into your trip to see auroras, one of the biggest things you will have to do is be in the right place, at the right time. For instance, you stand a better chance of seeing it if you are in southern Iceland. Because of the simple fact that the northern lights only happen when certain things take place, many people choose to hire a tour guide to help them discover where to see them. You can also talk to them when planning your trip to discover when the best time to see northern lights in Iceland is.

Posted on: March 4, 2015, by : Carrie

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