Autumn 2013 is set to be the best time to see the most spectacular light show on Earth, with the Northern Lights more frequent and clear than they have been for over a decade, according to NASA.
The best time to see the famed Aurora Borealis is traditionally the point in its 11-year cycle when the sun is at its “solar maximum”. A solar maximum is a period that naturally occurs during every cycle, where the Sun is particularly active, with greater numbers of sunspots and an increased energy output. NASA’s analysis predicts that the next solar maximum is to be this autumn.
NASA had originally predicted that this solar maximum would be the strongest for half a century, but has since revised its estimate. However, the Northern Lights are still to be stronger than anyone has witnessed for over a decade.
This is great news for tourists seeking out the unique experience of tracking down this almost mythical natural wonder. Every year, thousands of tourists fly to northern countries to catch a glimpse of the lights, with Norway, Sweden and Iceland particularly popular, along with Canada and Alaska.
In recent years British tourists searching for the Northern Lights have helped to boost the tourism industries of countries like Iceland, providing up to 30 per cent of all Northern Lights tourists. Organised tours, bringing tourists to the best locations to view the show have proved increasingly popular.
While the intrigue and wonder of this spectacular natural light show appears to increase year-on-year, 2013 is surely set to be one of the best years yet for tourists to go and experience this unique occurrence for themselves.