Destinations

Can I See the Northern Lights in Svalbard?

Advice on the Svalbard northern lights...

The Northern lights, or Aurora Borealis, are basically one huge fantastic light show put on by nature, changing colour depending on the gases in the atmosphere. This phenomenon can be seen in both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, in the South it is called the Southern Lights, or Aurora Australis. It only happens in these extreme poles because the solar wind particles needed are pulled into place by the magnetic fields (without going into too much technical detail!). The Svalbard Northern Lights aren't considered to be one of the best places for viewing the northern lights owing to a lower concentration of Auroral Borealis in the atmosphere, however they are still very good. Other places where they can be viewed include Churchill in Arctic Canada.

There is some activity however, so if you are lucky there is a chance of seeing them.

Whether you see the Northern Lights and how clear they are depends on a few factors. The night needs to be clear; whether or not there is auroral activity is irrelevant if there are clouds obscuring your view. Summer is not a great time to see them, as it is always light, so any potential activity is masked by the light. Hense, sadly this does not coincide with the best time to see polar bears, due to the midnight sun. During the winter activity by the Auroral Borealis would be clearer as the nights are dark. Although technically they could be there any time of year.

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