The Northern Lights
One of the Earth’s natural wonders, the Northern Lights, cast radiant, multi-colored lights over the northern landscape. They most commonly appear between 60-75 degree longitude, making the North Shore a hot spot for seeing a display.
What Are the Northern Lights?
Also known as Aurora Borealis (meaning “dawn of the north”), these colorful lights form when charged particles from the sun enter the earth’s atmosphere and collide with the earth’s gaseous particles. Typically, the lights are green. However, on rare occasions, viewers will get to see red, yellow, blue, and violet lights. The colors are determined by the height in which the particles collide. Green lights, for instance, appear when the colliding particles are about 60 miles above the earth. Rare reddish lights appear when the colliding particles are higher. Usually, about 200 miles above the earth.
Seeing the Northern Lights
If you want to see the auroras, you’ll want to check the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center website. This site provides daily Aurora forecast to determine the likelihood of the Northern Lights being visible. Skies will also need to be clear to see the Auroras. So, be sure to check the local forecast, as well. Doing these things will increase your odds of spotting the gorgeous lights. It is also important to know that displays are most vibrant between 11:00 pm and 3:00 am.
To increase your chances of seeing brighter lights, it helps to get out of town. Many cities, and even small towns, experience light pollution. This can hide your view of the atmosphere lights.
Luckily, there are a number of places on the North Shore we recommend visiting when the chances of spotting Northern Lights are the greatest. These areas are not affected by light pollution, and are located further north.