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Aurora Borealis/Northern Lights

Aurora Borealis/Northern Lights travel guide

See the skies sparkle over Alaska, Canada, Norway, Sweden and beyond with our guide to viewing the northern lights

There are some experiences that are so extraordinary they make you cry at the wonder of it all. Or at least have a lump in the throat. The first great whale that you see. The sight of quarter a million king penguins on a beach in South Georgia. Or seeing the northern lights in all their magnificent glory.

The first part of an auroral display usually comes from the east, as the earth rotates into the area of maximum activity. You’ll most likely see a pale green column first, but this may then grow into billowing sheets. If you’re really lucky, the whole sky will be full of curving, twisting shapes.

Although green is the most common colour, red is occasionally seen – but this can be considered a bad omen by some, with many superstitions around it.

You are most likely to see the northern lights in the far north. This auroral band includes Greenland, Lapland and far north Canada and Alaska.

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