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Northern Lights

Discussion in 'Alaska & Pacific Northwest Ports' started by Sully Cutler, Dec 26, 2008.

  1. Sully Cutler

    Sully Cutler Guest

    Have you ever seen the Northern Lights while on an Alaskan Cruise. I am considering a cruise to Alaska this summer and I would love to see the Aurora Borealis. Do your have any suggestions?

    Sully
     
  2. BSeabob

    BSeabob Guest

    Hey there Sully.. Welcome to Cruise @ddicts. As far as the northern lights go when sailing due to the time of year they are seldom visible. BUT it does happen just not very often.
    The rest of the journey and sights will make up for any disappointment though :)
    Join in our many forums and don't hesitate to ask any questions that you may have.

    PS The best time to see those flashing lights is mid. FEB on a cold night from the top of a mountain in Northern BC. Flat on your back with your feet over the handle bars of a snow machine. (or further North if you can) Not exactly sailing weather. :)
     
  3. JenInAlaska

    JenInAlaska Guest

    We've had very few NL sightings this past winter too, not sure why. I was going to post the article written in our local paper discussing it, but can't find it now.
    I've never seen them in summertime. But then, the short amount of hours that the sun is not in the sky during summer are the hours I'm sleeping. haha You need a pitch-black sky to catch a glimpse.
     
  4. Yukon

    Yukon Guest

    The story from the Anchorage paper about this being a dismal year for Northern Lights viewing is at http://www.adn.com/front/story/700194.html. We are avid aurora watchers and haven't seen them yet this winter :(
     
  5. BSeabob

    BSeabob Guest

    Interesting story thanks for that. We so seldom see them down here anymore that I hadn't thought about it much. I was also unaware of the cycle. I sure miss the experience from when up north but I don't miss the cold.
     
  6. W5KAP

    W5KAP Guest

    As a Ham Radio guy I am painfully aware of the cycle!! We are at the very bottom of Solar cycle 23 and since there is very little solar activity going on, you get very little Northern Lights. The particles from the sun excite the earth's Magnetosphere causing the molecules to "glow" when washed in solar radiation. No sun activity, no lights! Interestingly another thing that helps is that the earth (being in an elliptical orbit) is actually closest in its orbit (Perigee) to the sun in winter for the Northern hemisphere. We are eagerly awaiting Cycle 24 to start. There have been some Cycle 24 sun spots (known by their polarization and location as to the solar equator) but they have been small and short lived. This all makes long distance yakking by radio a bunch harder. So there more than you wanted to know eh!!

    Cheers, Kenn
     
  7. BSeabob

    BSeabob Guest

    Hey thanks for the info Ken.. I remember there being much better times to chat on the old SSB when I was in the Northern parts of BC. But never knew the reason ...just cared if it worked or not. :)
     

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