What are the Northern lights?
The Northern lights or aurora borealis are a spectacular natural phenomenon. This phenomenon occurs due to a chemical reaction in Earth‘s atmosphere. Gas particles collide with electrically charged molecules and atoms released from the sun‘s atmosphere. These particulates from the sun are blown towards earth by the solar winds. These winds can enter both the Northern and Southern hemisphere because of weak magnetic field at the poles. That‘s the reason for why we only see these dancing lights close to the North and South pole. The Northern lights come in many colors. The various colors are due to the effect different molecules create. Oxygen forms the most common one, yellow and green while nitrogen produces blue and purple-red for example.
Why see the Northern lights in Iceland?
Iceland is a magical island full of amazing nature and majestic scenery. The nature and landscape in the country are very untouched. It is these surroundings that create the perfect backdrop for your Northern lights experience. An experience you will not find anywhere else in the world. The Northern lights can be visible in Iceland as early as mid-August until late April when the sky is dark enough to get a good view of them. The darkest months in Iceland are November through February as the sky tends to be clearer in these months.
How to increase your chances of seeing the Northern lights in Iceland.
The next coming years are great to enjoy the Northern lights in Iceland as solar activity is at a high point. But weather conditions need to be favorable. Neither you nor me have magical powers, that is a fact. Therefor we can not control the weather to make the skies clear to create the perfect conditions for the Northern lights every night. There are however some tips you should be aware of to increase your chances of seeing the Northern lights.
As stated earlier you need decent weather in order to see the Northern lights. Icelandic weather is very unpredictable as it can change fairly quickly. You should keep yourself updated on what the best dates to view the lights are. High solar activity, clear skies and a small moon is ideal for your Northern lights hunt. Predictions for both can be viewed here. You can still make your reservation before you arrive. If need be you can always change the date of your reservation by contacting the supplier directly.
Light pollution plays a big role on the visibility of the lights. It is recommended to get as far away from the city lights as possible. We do recommend taking a bus tour or a super jeep tour rather than a boat tour to escape the city lights. That is because the boat tours are limited to a relatively small area, usually the Faxaflói bay area. The bus and super jeep tours can be more flexible and can always go where the conditions are best.