You may want to consider going in the next year or so since this is the peak period in the 11 year cycle for the Northern Lights. That is why I scheduled going this year. Below is information regarding the Northern Lights!!!
On 14 October we went out to visit the Northern Lights with the Northern Lights expert (Kjetil Skogli) that took out Joanna Lumley to find the Northern Lights in the documentary below:
Kjetil Skogli web site below:
One thing I did not mention, Norway is expensive place to visit..I have been to many many countries and Norway by far is the most expensive place I ever visited. For example, a coke costs $6, a hamburger 20-25$ and you can easily spend $200 - $300 on a dinner. I still would highly recommend a visit to Norway, but beware of the high costs there.
Yes you are right we have visited Norway twice. It is a beautiful country but very expensive for the quality of hotels, restaurants etc.
When we stayed in an apartment on our last visit the owner did say the standard of living is quite high.
It is not a country where you want to drink alcohol, the prices are ridiculous!
Wow, that is expensive. Always good to know things like this, when you want to make your plans. As razorbackfan said, lots of peanut butter and ramen noodles in the bag (no I really wouldn't do the ramen noodles, but they are still a food I lived on in my very early years . Thanks again for all the tips and pictures!
Last night I put together an inexpensive trip to see the Northern Lights in Feb. Using miles on Alaskan Air to Fairbanks. Staying at the SHS for 3 nights that has free airport transportation and will drive guests to viewing locations in town for free as well. One of the evenings while I am there take a Northern Lights tour for $75 to a place that has above average visibility. Thus no car is needed.
According to stats from the university:
"Clear skies and darkness are essential to see the northern lights. If you stay 3 nights in Fairbanks, you have an 80% chance of seeing them." I am giving the 3 nights and will hope to see them.
This has been on my to list for many years and hard to decide to do since I really don't like cold but from what you say, this is the year to do it.
It does matter where we live. The lights can be seen from many locations and expense is to be considered. Also, you might just not see them. I talked to a person who went to Norway and spent an entire week and never saw them. That could happen anywhere. The place that the tour will take me is above the ice cloud and that gives better odds.
Going out with one of the experts increases the chance of seeing them considerably, although this can be more costly, it is well worth it. The two I went out with in Tromso were Kjetil Skogli on 14 October 2012 and Guide Gunner on 13 and 16 October 2012.
Advise is welcomed Jasper! I spoke with a person who does the tours and he told me that solar flares can be fairly accurately predicted 2 -3 days in advance. I am on a wait list for his and I have names of other companies that do tours as well as his. They have a minimum for them to go. I was told that optimum viewing is from midnight - 2am. The thing is how many nights can I stay up to see them.
I heard about the new moon and I will be there during the 1st quarter. Not quite but close to the new moon. I had to get what I could using miles.
The time is when it is the darkest. I wonder if it was different in your areas? I like 10p - 12p better.
The one tour that I prefer picks up at 10 and returns at 2:30. Some of them that go farther return at 4am.
The Northern Lights can be viewed from many places in the world.
Links below for tracking the Northern Lights in North America, and photographs from the northern US states, and Canada.
Anyone living or traveling in these areas might want to check and see if they will have an opportunity for viewing.
2012/2103 are supposed to be the best years for viewing during the 12 year cycle.
Any MIs living or traveling near these areas?
Yes the lights can be seen from many areas but what is the probability that an area would have them at a particular time? According to the Geographical Institute they can only accurately predict them 2-3 days in advance. If you live in an area, fine you just go out at night. If one wants to see them, one could be on the watch and fly to the destination on short notice or if they plan in advance, they would have to find an area with a high probability of seeing them.
Some tips I have received from friends that done this frequently before:
I have seen a fantastic display of Northern Lights while traveling in North Dakota (not too foreign, and costs are reasonable). Your link you posted above is a great example.