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  #1  
Old January 9th, 2009, 09:01 PM
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Default Aurora Borealis - Best Month to see them????

Hi - So, what is the best month to see the Northern Lights?

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  #2  
Old January 9th, 2009, 09:09 PM
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The best months are the months when it's the darkest - ie mid-Winter. This is a dismal aurora year, though - we're seeing nothing. The aurora is on a roughly 11-year cycle and the next peak is the winter of 2011-2012. The aurora forecast at http://www.gedds.alaska.edu/AuroraForecast/is quite accurate and shows that we're getting no light shows for the foreseeable future. Even on a peak year I've never seen the aurora between about April 15 and August 15 - the sky is just too bright all night.

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  #3  
Old January 9th, 2009, 09:51 PM
melodyina melodyina is offline
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Default Northern Lights

Here's another great link for Northern Lights information.
http://www.alaska.com/northern-lights/

They state the aurora is active all year but can only be seen when the Alaska night sky is dark enough -- generally from late August through early April.

(I will also add that my parents who live in Northern MN see the Northern Lights more than I do in Anchorage.)
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  #4  
Old January 24th, 2009, 02:53 AM
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I'm hoping we'll be able to see the lights when we are there the week of Sept 5, 2009. Here's another site w/ info ... it says it is seen most frequently at the time of the equinoxes (March 21 & Sept 23)
http://plus.aol.com/aol/reference/au...x_ref_center.M I'm hoping this website is accurate - I've always wanted to see the aurora borealis
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  #5  
Old January 25th, 2009, 02:27 AM
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I'm an astronomy nut and have wanted to see the Aurora all my life. I'm jealous of my teenager, who saw them a few summers ago camping in the mountains near Spokane.
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  #6  
Old January 25th, 2009, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenish View Post
I'm an astronomy nut and have wanted to see the Aurora all my life. I'm jealous of my teenager, who saw them a few summers ago camping in the mountains near Spokane.
That's funny, I've pretty much wanted to see them for as long as I can remember. I'm surprised more people don't discuss the Aurora on these Boards more often ... I know it's one of those things that just needs to be seen in person in order to fully enjoy
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  #7  
Old January 25th, 2009, 07:50 PM
Yukon Yukon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfitz View Post
I'm surprised more people don't discuss the Aurora on these Boards more often ...
I'm glad they don't, because aurora viewing is really a Winter thing, not a cruising-season one.
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  #8  
Old January 25th, 2009, 07:53 PM
kenish kenish is offline
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I think the reason they aren't discussed more on this board is they are usually not visible during the summer cruise season.

Several companies offer winter aurora tours. They start in either ANC or FAI...some of them go above the Arctic Circle and the rest stay in the FAI area. Besides dogsledding and interesting cocktail party chat, you have a few days to see the aurora if weather and solar events permit.
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  #9  
Old January 25th, 2009, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenish View Post
I think the reason they aren't discussed more on this board is they are usually not visible during the summer cruise season.

Several companies offer winter aurora tours. They start in either ANC or FAI...some of them go above the Arctic Circle and the rest stay in the FAI area. Besides dogsledding and interesting cocktail party chat, you have a few days to see the aurora if weather and solar events permit.
Hi Kenish, thanks for the addtl info Some of the research I've done sounds like there's at least some possibility of us getting to view the Aurora during our early Sept cruise ... I'm going to be optimistic and stay hopeful, but plan not to be disappointed if it doesn't work out.
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Old January 25th, 2009, 08:40 PM
Yukon Yukon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfitz View Post
Some of the research I've done sounds like there's at least some possibility of us getting to view the Aurora during our early Sept cruise ... I'm going to be optimistic and stay hopeful, but plan not to be disappointed if it doesn't work out.
I've seen them as early as mid-August, so it can happen - good luck!!
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  #11  
Old January 25th, 2009, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yukon View Post
I've seen them as early as mid-August, so it can happen - good luck!!
Yay, that's good news! Maybe like the weather, it's somewhat unpredictable. I've been reading mixed reviews about the early Sept weather, so figure we'll plan for rain, and be very happy to have some clear days
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  #12  
Old January 25th, 2009, 08:53 PM
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We saw them south of Anchorage in late September 2000. It wasn't as colorful as it probably is deeper into the winter, but it was still amazing!
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Old January 25th, 2009, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Podie View Post
We saw them south of Anchorage in late September 2000. It wasn't as colorful as it probably is deeper into the winter, but it was still amazing!
Thanks ... encouraging, remaining hopeful that we'll see them
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  #14  
Old January 26th, 2009, 12:12 AM
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I have seen them in Whitehorse in the winter and as a kid I can remember seeing them in Vancouver but I have never seen them at sea....although I have seen peoples' pictures of them on this site.
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