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The Next Solar Maximum and What that Means for the Northern Lights

Solar Cycle 25 has begun!

This statement from NASA not only means a huge amount to space travel but for holiday makers wanting to experience the magic of seeing the full glory of the Aurora Borealis there is no better time.

The solar Minimum occurred in December 2019 so for the following 4 seasons the surface of the sun will be more volatile with giant explosions with solar flares or coronal mass ejections spewing light, energy, and solar material into space.

All this matter heads towards earth and is deflected by the earth’s magnetic poles but not without creating the magnificent northern lights displays of the Aurora Borealis in the northern hemisphere and the Aurora Australis in the southern hemisphere.

While the northern lights occur regularly in the Polar Regions right through the solar cycle, as we move towards the solar maximum the intensity of displays increases dramatically. With so much atmospheric turbulence it also results in more multi coloured aurora displays. Different gases create different spectrum’s of light. The two main gases of nitrogen and oxygen react to create aurora colours spanning the spectrum from green to violet.

So if witnessing the northern lights is on your bucket list the next few years provides the perfect opportunity to see them at their best. If you head to the Arctic from October to March you stand an excellent chance of witnessing them. While the whole region offers chances of seeing them, in reality some places are better than others.

Our experience has allowed us to focus in on a few locations where the incidence is much higher than the average and we can advise accordingly. But if we take Abisko in Swedish Lapland for instance this remains probably the preeminent place in Europe to see them consistently. Due to the unique weather patterns surrounding Abisko it creates a low precipitation zone which means less cloud which in tours means clearer skies the prime ingredient for getting to see the northern lights.

As we see light at the end of the Covid travel tunnel why not put a ‘ bucket list’ northern lights holiday in your diary and look forward to seeing one of nature’s marvels at its best.

To understand more of the science behind the northern lights explore our comprehensive guide to the northern lights

To see our full range of Northern Lights Holidays in Iceland and Sweden

 

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