Why you MUST see the Northern Lights in 2013 – or regret it for 11 years

northern
November 13, 2013

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The Northern lights are on a cycle. Nature’s most awesome light show gets to its brightest and shiniest stage roughly every 11 years – and 2013 is that year.

NASA predict that this December will be the best possible conditions for seeing the Northern Lights in the next decade. And we trust NASA right? So if you’re deliberating over a trip to Iceland this winter, my advice is – DO IT!

Here’s the science bit:

The Aurora Borealis (or Northern Lights) displays are governed by a solar cycle that lasts for 11 years, and are at their most dramatic during periods of high solar activity.

By this December there is anticipated to be a “solar flip” – the term used for a “complete reversal” of the sun’s polar magnetic fields.

At this point, the conditions for viewing the lights are at their best, setting us up for a winter of stunning light shows over parts of Iceland and other northern destinations.

Back in 2002 the lights were so “active” they could even be seen in Washington and New York! So based on the 11-year cycle, they should reach this level of activity again in 2013.

When to see the Northern Lights at their best:

Winter is the best time of year to see the lights, as the lighter summer nights make them a lot harder to see.

Iceland is one of the most accessible and affordable destinations you can see the Northern Lights. To maximise your chances of seeing them, you can join a Northern Lights Tour which ensures you visit the places with the best views.

Are you planning to visit the Northern Lights, or have you already been to see them? What was your experience of them?

About the author

Farrah Hedwat

Farrah is AttractionTix’s resident Copywriter. A city girl at heart, her best-loved travel moments are exploring new cities across the world like Barcelona or Los Angeles. Farrah’s favourite things are eating, sleeping, shopping and animals (but mostly animals). Her pet hates are bad grammar and other writing-based “offences”.