Did you know you can see the Northern Lights in Iceland and other countries near or above the Arctic Circle throughout most of the year? It’s a myth that you can only see them in the winter. The fact is, it just has to be dark enough. The Northern Lights are active all year round but are usually not visible in the summer months when the “aurora zone” experiences almost 24 hours of daylight. Most people just associate the experience with the cold because it is the darkest during the winter. However, in Iceland, August, September, and October are also great times to go. Not only are the solar flares that hit the magnetically charged atmosphere most active in September (creating the aurora), but temperatures are much more bearable.
Their visibility is affected by the sun’s 11-year solar life cycle around the poles. There are certain years when the solar activity is less, meaning solar flare activity is at its lowest (equals less aurora activity). It was announced in October 2021 that the next solar cycle has started so it’s as good a time as ever to see the northern lights! High cloud cover is the other wild card that affects aurora visibility. If the cloud cover is over most of the sky, there’s no way to see or photograph this magical phenomenon even if the lights are super active above the clouds.
We took the above shot on one of our Iceland group tours a couple of years ago. Join us on the next adventure to (hopefully) see this dazzling spectacle!