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Old 11-06-2014, 07:15 AM   #1
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Aurora Borealis

My wife and I have made the road trip to Alaska via the AlCan Highway twice. Absolutely fell in love with the Northern Rockies in British Columbia and following the Yukon north to Dawson City and over the Top of World Highway. BUT - haven't gotten to see the mystical and majestic Aurora Borealis. Conditions were very favorable except for the almost 24/7 daylight.

So, we now have a Class A and want to head north - but only as far north as necessary to view the aurora borealis. I have done a fair bit of research but would like the advise of first hand experience. How far north and what is the incidence occurrence rate?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-06-2014, 07:20 AM   #2
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Sounds like a fun trip !

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Old 11-06-2014, 07:23 AM   #3
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we hope

The road trip was in our oversized SUV and the trip was great. This time though we really want to "bask in the magic of the Aurora Borealis".
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Old 11-06-2014, 07:35 AM   #4
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When our oldest son was stationed in Anchorage, I was up there visiting between Christmas and New Years and got up every morning @ 2 am and went outside and stood/froze for an hr waiting to see it. Nothing. A day later after I was back in NC, Mardy called and said "Hey Pops, missed a beautiful show this morning". Story of my life!
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Old 11-06-2014, 09:57 AM   #5
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It really depends on a lot of factors, how clear it is at the time, the strength of the sun's output, the angle it strikes the earth, etc... So it's hard to predict.

I've only seen them once, and that was local. (About as far south as Detroit). Going farther north doesn't matter as much as how far away from civilization you can get. The less ambient light you have around the more your pupils open so the more likely you'll notice them when they do happen against the darker sky.








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Old 11-06-2014, 10:30 AM   #6
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Believe me, it is dark in Anchorage, AK in Dec.
Supposedly, from September until about April 20 is the best time for seeing the aurora during Alaska's winter is 11:30 p.m.Ė3:30 a.m. with the peak at 1:30 a.m.
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Old 11-06-2014, 11:03 AM   #7
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Have been camping on Lake Superior in the very northern-most tip of Minnesota for over 20 years and have only seen them once. A very beautiful gift from heaven. I hope you get to see them sometime.
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Old 11-06-2014, 01:44 PM   #8
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The following NOAA link shows the current aurora oval. Prediction of future activity is next to impossible as the sun's activity drives auroral activity. A high K-index is suggestive of high solar activity.

NOAA POES Auroral Activity
http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/alerts/k-index.html
3-day Estimated Planetary Kp-index Monitor
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Old 11-23-2014, 03:20 PM   #9
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I don't think you have to go very far north to see the northern lights, as I can see them from my driveway when the conditions are right. I have also seen them in the summer when camping!
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Old 04-26-2015, 01:35 PM   #10
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Saw the northern lights from my back yard last night and some epic shows earlier in the week. As said above, viewing without light pollution is best and since daylight is finally longer the ideal viewing times are 11:30p -3am.

Here's a pic a friend took last week:
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