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High demand for aurora-hunting trips as Solar Maximum approaches

13th May 2012

The 2012/2013 season may be the best for viewing the aurora borealis until 2030, and demand for trips is hotting up

Geophysicists are predicting the Solar Maximum, the period of time when auroras are at their most vivid, is predicted for early 2013. And after a successful 2011-2012 winter season, tour operators are already reporting increased interest in next winter's trips.

The Aurora Zones Managing Director Alistair McLean says: "It's only May and we're already experiencing incredible demand for the coming season. We haven't even released the brochure yet, but regardless, many of our trips are already filling up.

Historically, auroras are more frequent and at their most vivid in the months just before and after the Solar Maximum, making the next two winter seasons the best opportunities to witness the Northern Lights. Last winter the aurora was visible in Ireland and Scotland thanks to a surge in solar activity. NASA has even predicted that the 2012 Northern Lights will be at their brightest in 50 years.

Sightings of the aurora borealis are possible as early as September and as late as April, but are generally more common further into winter when nights are longest and skies are darkest. Greenland, Lapland, Iceland and far north Canada and Alaska are traditionally the best places to go for a glimpse of the phenomenon.

Have you been lucky enough to see the Northern Lights? Or do you think it's all over-hyped. Let us know...

More like this:

Aurora Borealis set to light up Ireland | News... More

Check out our Aurora Borealis/Northern Lights travel guide for advice and tips | Plan a trip... More

Top 6 places to see the Northern Lights | Inspire me... More

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