When Is The Best Time To See The Northern Lights In Iceland?

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When Is The Best Time To See The Northern Lights In Iceland?

The northern lights, or aurora borealis, are a natural phenomenon which can paint the night sky with unearthly, surreal colours. The lights are a main attraction for many who travel to Iceland, but when is the best time to see them?


Best time to see northern lights in Iceland

Northern lights over Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

The northern lights, or aurora borealis, are a natural phenomenon which can paint the night sky with unearthly, surreal colours. The lights are a main attraction for many who travel to Iceland, but when is the best time to see them?

The best time to see the northern lights in Iceland is from september to april. Although the lights are present during the summer months, there is too much daylight to see them. When the days get shorter, the lights become more prominent and vivid. They are best viewed between 21:00-02:00 (9pm to 2am) in the evenings.

Check out our Northern Lights tour selection here and experience this magnificent show for yourself!

Aurora Borealis at Jokulsarlon

Aurora Borealis at Jokulsarlon

What are the northern lights?

The aurora borealis are caused by charged particles ejected from the sun. When these particles reach the earth, they collide with gas atoms in the earth's atmosphere causing them to energize, which results in a spectacular multi-coloured light show.

Aurora Borealis at Jokulsarlon

So vivid & green!

The northern lights are similar to a sunset in the sky at night, but occasionally appear in arcs or spirals, following the earth's magnetic field. They are most often light green in colour but often have a hint of pink. Strong eruptions also have violet and white colours. Red northern lights are rare, but these can sometimes be observed at lower latitudes

Aurora Borealis over Kirkjufell

Aurora Borealis over Kirkjufell

The colour variations of the lights are caused by the different gas particles. The green colour is caused by oxygen molecules located about 60 miles (96km) above earth’s surface. The more rare red-coloured auroras are also caused by oxygen molecules, but are located much higher up in the atmosphere, at about 200 miles (320km). Nitrogen molecules can produce blue or purplish-red auroras. It is more difficult to see the red coloured auroras with the naked eye and are more often better seen on photographs. They can also appear white, if many of the colours mix together or if they are faint.

Check out our Northern Lights tour selection here We operate aurora tours from September to April.


 

 

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