Best AK Aurora view?

Old Oct 19, 19, 5:43 pm
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Best AK Aurora view?

AS is offering a 10% discount from Jan 8-Feb13, 2020 for Insider subscribers. I would be connecting in SEA. What cities would you recommend to see the aurora? I realize views are not guaranteed.
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Old Oct 19, 19, 6:14 pm
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a window seat on the right side of the jet from CMH to SEA may be a good viewing platform ... these were taken from my IAD-SEA flight a couple years ago




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Old Oct 19, 19, 7:46 pm
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Originally Posted by rxgeek View Post
AS is offering a 10% discount from Jan 8-Feb13, 2020 for Insider subscribers. I would be connecting in SEA. What cities would you recommend to see the aurora? I realize views are not guaranteed.
Fairbanks. No contest.
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Old Oct 19, 19, 8:27 pm
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Agreed. FAI hands down.

Get yourself a night flight and a window seat, and the show may begin before you land in Fairbanks. When you're on the ground, there's nothing quite like sitting in the hot springs pools at Chena (they sell evening passes -- you don't need to stay there) and looking up at the sky dancing.

Be sure to check out the "Aurora Forecast" website hosted by the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks so you can pick a good day.
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Old Oct 20, 19, 2:44 am
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Grab a dozen pair o dice and roll them. you have a 50% chance of seeing the lights. On the other hand you have a 90% chance of running into some of the locals.
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Old Oct 20, 19, 8:40 am
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Aurora

The best place and most convenient location I found is the , Chatanika Lodge , https://www.explorefairbanks.com/lis...a-lodge/10123/

Itís about a 40 minute Drive from FAI, weather permitting, inexpensive lodging, great service , and a 1 in 3 chance of seeing the lights if the switch is turned on. Very minimal light pollution as itís near Poker Flats, Alaska best Aurora research facility, generally off limits to the public.
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Old Oct 21, 19, 10:25 am
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Originally Posted by rxgeek View Post
I realize views are not guaranteed.
Do you also realize that aurora likelihood goes in multi-year cycles, and now is roughly the low point of the multi-year cycle?

So what likelihood someone had a few years ago of seeing them is not necessarily the same today.

But of course there is random variation on top of the multi-year cycle variation, so even your statistical chances are not guaranteed.
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Old Oct 21, 19, 12:14 pm
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If you are flexible you can up your chances by tracking the website www.spaceweather.com. I find that it's pretty accurate and if you see a big sunspot coming around the sun it ups your chances of seeing them. I agree with all the recommendations here, Chena Hot Springs is a more luxury as compared to Chatanika. Granted its been a few years since I did either but both are good.
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Old Oct 21, 19, 12:45 pm
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Also agree with Fairbanks (and its environs, like the Chatanika Lodge mentioned above). In case you haven't seen it, here is a link to the aurora forecast page run by the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks: https://www.gi.alaska.edu/monitors/aurora-forecast
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Old Oct 21, 19, 1:00 pm
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Another vote for FAI.

That said, last year early September, I was in Fairbanks for 4 nights and didn't see any Aurora Borealis due to heavy cloud (despite the PK forecast was between 2 to 4 nightly).

Days before Fairbanks, I was in Denali (might have been the last day of August). Very strong showing one night around 11PM. I simply grabbed my gears and set up to shoot right next to the hotel (lots of light pollution, mostly from the highway).

Here is a timelapse from Denali.

https://stefanofoto.smugmug.com/Amer...-Timelapse-02/
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Old Oct 21, 19, 10:06 pm
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Originally Posted by ftmsb View Post
Also agree with Fairbanks (and its environs, like the Chatanika Lodge mentioned above). In case you haven't seen it, here is a link to the aurora forecast page run by the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks: https://www.gi.alaska.edu/monitors/aurora-forecast
I second this post and the recommendation to base your journey in Fairbanks. Personally, I'm partial to soaking in Chena Hot Springs while the lights dance above your head (and the rush of hot and cold that you get as you sink down in the hot pool and then stand up in the frigid air is an experience unlike any other), but Chatanika Lodge would be as good a place as any. Anywhere outside of Fairbanks proper and far enough to get away from the light pollution is good.

Also, the UAF GI forecast page that @ftmsb linked is the gold standard for Alaska-centric aurora predictions. Note that it's more akin to a 5-day weather summary rather than an hourly forecast--for the latter, you'll want to look in the lower right portion of that page for the link to the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center, which has near-real-time reports and predictions.

-Mod hat on-

Since this technically pertains to Alaska as a destination and not as much to Alaska as an air carrier, I'll go ahead and move it over to the respective destination forum. Please follow as this thread moves there.

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Old Oct 21, 19, 10:19 pm
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
I second this post and the recommendation to base your journey in Fairbanks. Personally, I'm partial to soaking in Chena Hot Springs while the lights dance above your head (and the rush of hot and cold that you get as you sink down in the hot pool and then stand up in the frigid air is an experience unlike any other), but Chatanika Lodge would be as good a place as any. Anywhere outside of Fairbanks proper and far enough to get away from the light pollution is good.

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Agree with all of the above. But, keep in mind that Jackal went to the ice museum at Chena Hot Springs and was going to take his appletini glass home as a souvenir. We had to remind him that is was made of ice before he sat it on the dash of the rental car.
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Old Oct 21, 19, 10:37 pm
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If you are feeling extra adventurous, you could visit Utgiagvik (Barrow) you can see the Arctic Ocean, visit the dump and see polar bears and see the aurora all on the same trip.
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Old Oct 21, 19, 11:13 pm
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Originally Posted by BOB W View Post
Agree with all of the above. But, keep in mind that Jackal went to the ice museum at Chena Hot Springs and was going to take his appletini glass home as a souvenir. We had to remind him that is was made of ice before he sat it on the dash of the rental car.
Such pain. Such loss.
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Old Oct 22, 19, 6:35 am
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If you are on Fairbanks for 4 nights the stats day you have something like a 75% chance of seeing the aurora. Lows and highs of the cycle just mean lower and higher chances but even in the lower end of the cycle you can see the aurora, even quite strong too.

Have a rental car and stay outside the city if you can.
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