Aurora Borealis

Old Feb 8, 14, 7:37 am
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: UK
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Aurora Borealis

Greetings from a visitor from the British Airways board.

I'm visiting the USA for a month to visit old colleagues and so on, and have a few days free in late February. I believe that this is a great year to see the aurora. Just wondered if any of you have any reports or tips you could share?

I quite like the idea of a couple of days spotting the lights. The last time I saw them was many years ago on a Japan Airlines flight from ANC to London.

I'll be based in San Francisco, so quite well placed to get up to Alaska.

Any tips or advice gratefully received.

Any tips

chippy63 is offline  
Old Feb 8, 14, 8:06 am
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Fairbanks is a great place to see them, as the sky is more often clear than in Anchorage. I used to live up there and enjoyed great shows on many occasions. It is never guaranteed, but in an active year the chances might be good. The Geophysical Institute at the Fairbanks U of A has a website and offers aurora forecasts. Maybe someone can find the link and post it. Or I will,go look for it and post again.

February in Fairbanks can be nice, or it can be really cold. They have a big dog mushing race toward the end of the month, always interesting to see. (Edit:it appears that now this takes place in March, not February). If you go, consider booking lodging out of town to the north, where the sky is clearer (away from city lights). There are now BandB's there that serve this purpose well. And you might see a moose in the yard when you awaken in the morning. ,

Last edited by enzian; Feb 8, 14 at 8:10 am Reason: Correcting information
enzian is offline  
Old Feb 8, 14, 7:06 pm
Join Date: Apr 2004
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March and September are the two most active months so your timing is good. Suggest you go to Fair banks and from there drive a little north to Chena Hot Springs. You should have a good unique time even if you don't see the Northern Lights!
Major G is offline  
Old Feb 8, 14, 9:46 pm
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As the others have said, if you only want to see the aurora's skip Anchorage and go straight to Fairbanks. Anchorage isn't in a particularly good viewing zone, and it is perpetually cloudy here to boot.
Chugach is offline  
Old Feb 9, 14, 8:18 am
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In case your schedule gets away from you, I have seen the aurora nearly as many times in the north of Scotland as during my years living in Alaska.
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Old Feb 9, 14, 9:06 am
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Just got back from Anchorage this morning. Went primarily to see the Aurora.

Check the forecast here:

The forecast wasn't great (3 on the scale), but I still managed to see them. They come and go...we didn't see them for the first 15-20 minutes, and were then treated to a 30 minute show.

We drove about 30 minutes outside of Anchorage towards Flattop. Got a few decent long exposure shots:

While not the highest activity, it was still amazing. I'll definitely be keeping and eye on the forecast and making another trip when activity is predicted to be higher.
MSPGabe is offline  

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