Nature & Environment Sep 25, 2012

The Best Time To View The Northern Lights

Aurora Borealis, also known as the northern lights, are a gorgeous natural light display caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere. The result is breathtaking: a greenish neon light that illuminates the night sky. Iceland’s geographic location, which puts it directly under the main concentration of the northern lights annulus (or Great Belt), makes it an ideal place to view the natural phenomenon.

Although the northern lights can be visible year-round, October through March is generally considered the best time of year to witness the display. Of course, sightings can never be guaranteed; the northern lights are a natural phenomenon, after all. Dark, clear conditions are optimal, and this year should be especially great as the sunspot cycle is reaching its 11-year peak.

Can’t make it to Iceland? You’re in luck. has a webcam set up to broadcast the northern lights live when they happen. You can also see a video of the northern lights taken just days ago here. But remember, phenomena like this are much better when experienced in-person. Start planning your vacation now!