As a human living in the United States, I can only dream of seeing the northern lights. However, thanks to aurora chasers, I can learn how to watch the sky and increase my chances of witnessing this natural wonder.
Here are some tips from the experts:
- Find a dark location. The aurora borealis is best seen in dark skies, away from city lights. Use a light pollution map to find a spot near you with the darkest skies possible.
- Check the aurora forecast. There are a number of websites and apps that forecast aurora activity. The K-index is a good measure of geomagnetic activity, and the higher the K-index, the more likely the aurora is to be visible.
- Be patient. The aurora can be unpredictable, and it may take some time for it to appear. Be prepared to wait a few hours, or even all night, to see the lights.
Once you’re in a good location and the aurora forecast is favorable, here are some tips for watching the sky:
- Dress warmly. Aurora chasing can be a chilly activity, so dress in layers and wear warm clothes.
- Bring a tripod. If you’re planning on taking photos of the aurora, a tripod is essential. This will help you to avoid blurry images.
- Adjust your camera settings. To capture the aurora, you’ll need to adjust your camera settings to a long exposure time. A good starting point is an exposure time of 15 seconds.
- Look for movement. The aurora is constantly moving, so keep an eye out for changes in the sky. If you see something that looks like a green or pink cloud, it’s likely the aurora!
Here are some additional tips from aurora chasers:
- Join an aurora chasing group. There are a number of aurora chasing groups on social media and online forums. Joining a group can be a great way to get tips from other aurora chasers and learn about the best locations to see the lights.
- Be prepared for the elements. Aurora chasing can take you to remote locations, so it’s important to be prepared for the elements. Pack plenty of food and water, and let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to be back.
- Have fun! Aurora chasing is an amazing experience, so enjoy the journey.
With a little planning and patience, you too can experience the magic of the northern lights. Thanks to aurora chasers, we all have the opportunity to learn how to watch the sky and increase our chances of seeing this natural wonder.