What is Aurora?
The Aurora, or Northern Lights, are a natural phenomena that have to be seen to be believed. The incredible light show in the sky is caused when electrically charged particles from the sun enter the earth’s atmosphere. When these particles collide with the gas atoms and molecules of the earth’s atmosphere, the lights of the Aurora are emitted. This reaction creates distinct colours in the night sky, from the common green lights to a white, yellow, blue, pink, purple and rare red. The more collisions, the brighter the lights.
The different colours of the Aurora are created by particles colliding with different gasses in our atmosphere. As the earth has two magnetic poles, we see the Aurora Borealis at the North Pole and you will find the Aurora Australis at the South Pole.
Aurora Borealis means “northern dawn” in Latin. In ancient Roman times, Aurora was the goddess of dawn while Borealis meant northerly, hence the term Aurora Borealis. Most commonly, they are called the Northern Lights. Other variations include polar lights, northern polar lights, aurora polaris, and polar spirits.
Did you Know?
Where Is The Best Place To See The Aurora?
How to Maximize Your Aurora-Viewing Probability...
The Aurora can be seen in the Yellowknife area up to 240 days of the year, which is when our skies are dark. In the summer, we have the midnight sun, so there is too much daylight to see it!
When there are no heavy clouds, it is almost always visible. In order to maximize the probability of seeing the aurora, we recommend three consecutive days of aurora-viewing.
We keep a daily record of Aurora sightings and have found each season there is a 95% chance of seeing the Aurora within three consecutive days. You can check out the daily record here: Nightly Aurora Photo Log.
Aurora Viewing Packages
Visit Aurora Village
Fun in the North
Much like a weather forecast, the aurora forecast isn’t a guarantee of what will actually happen. Your aurora-viewing experience depends on many factors, not all of which can be represented in the forecast. For current weather conditions, please visit the Yellowknife Weather Network website.
Aurora-viewing Tools – Useful Links.