The Northern lights, also called The Aurora Borealis are a spectacular display of shimmering light.
Those of us fortunate enough to live in the Northern hemisphere are treated every winter to beautiful, arching streams of light in iridescent shades of red, yellow, green, blue and violet. This awesome polar light happens when electrically charged particles from the sun collide with the gases in the earth's atmosphere.
There isn't much time in the year to witness this majestic light show, and it all depends on solar activity. So if you can get the timing just right, you'll be thanking your lucky stars!
These photos are 15 reasons why you'll want to add this trip to your Winter Bucket List.
The best time to view the Northern Lights is in winter, with longer periods of darkness and clearer nights.
This beautiful auroral display was captured in SwedenMia Stålnacke
Unless you're an astronaut, you'll have to settle for the digital version of a view like this:
Retired American astronaut, Scott Kelly tweeted this amazing photo of the aurora from space.Scott Kelly/Twitter @StationCDRKelly
According to The Aurora Zone, the best months to visit dark sky reserves is between January and March, and the best light shows happen between 9:30 p.m. and 1 a.m.
A colourful display of auroras above Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CanadaAlija Bos Photography
It doesn't give you much time, but if you're lucky to catch a live glimpse of this light show, you'll remember it for the rest of your life!
Aurora hunters can go dog sledding, camping and cross-country skiing under the stars!
It takes just the right combination of conditions to see a display like this one.
Increasing light pollution is a big concern - it blocks out views like this one:
31128908 © Stephan Pietzko | Dreamstime.comthecanadianencyclopedia.ca
Thankfully there are Dark Sky preserves that are totally free from artificial light.
Northern lights in the Yukon TerritoryRex Features.The Canadian Press
These beautiful light displays are always different - you won't see the same thing twice.
They're unpredictable too - you never know what colors or arrangements you'll get!
Auroras are most visible during the sun's peak activity, called a solar maximum.
This solar maximum started in 2007 and will end in 2018 - not much time left!
Aurora chasing is often the beginning of unexpected and awesome Northern adventure.
In the end, you'll have some pretty incredible pictures to prove it.
Beautiful lights over Nordeisa, Norway © 2015 Tor-Ivar Næss
And you'll have some amazing stories to tell!
Are you ready for an adventure? Like & Share!