Seeing (and photographing) the northern lights is on most people’s bucket lists and Iceland provides epic backdrops to experience this phenomenon. Also know as the polar lights, aurora polaris, and aurora borealis, the northern lights are best viewed between September and March each year. For a great showing, a number of stars have to align including little to no cloud cover, low light pollution, a strong solar storm in our atmosphere.
A little known fact is that the northern lights are correlated with an 11 year sunspot activity cycle. The more restless the sun, the more intense solar storms resulting in the most active and colorful display of northern lights. The last solar maximum was in 2013 making the next one not too far off in 2024!
In between the solar maximum there are still many opportunities to view and photograph the northern lights, but they are often not as strong.