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The best places to see the northern lights

northern lights_iceland_05_04_122012 has another reason to celebrate as far as travel plans are concerned. This year we are going to witness the most spectacular phenomena that nature has to present in all its glory – the northern lights or aurora borealis. According to experts in NASA, this year will see the brightest lights for the past 50 years due to increased solar activity.

The aurora borealis forms when solar wind carrying charged solar particles collides with the molecules in the air. This collision produces light energy and this year, these lights can be seen even as far away as Rome. Some of the countries that top the travel list for viewings are Alaska, Denmark, Scotland, Canada, Norway, Greenland, Finland, Russia, Iceland and Sweden.

Alaska is perhaps the best place since it is the closest possible spot to the lights – also known as merry dancers. A trip to Alaska can also include taking in the beautiful wilderness of areas like the Yukon Territory, which can offer a holiday goer the best view of the lights as well.

If an individual is interested in taking in some history on the trip to see the aurora borealis, then Denmark could be one of the travel destinations. This country offers an opportunity for the visitor to see some remote Norwegian islands and take in the iridescent display as well.

Canada can also offer some scenic splendor and viewing the lights from areas like Great Superior and the tundra can have its own unique charm.

Finland takes the viewing of the lights extremely methodically and visiting this place can almost guarantee a view of the phenomenon. Visitors get an aurora alarm, which beeps, courtesy of the Northern Lights Research Center, alerting you to the arrival of the lights.

Traveling to Iceland to see the natural lights show can also entail a visit to the Fingvellir national park, which is a site of historical and geographical importance.


Picture credit: Shutterstock

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