How to see the aurora borealis, and our experiences aurora chasing.
Seeing aurora is not as hard as it may seem. There are a couple of tips we have discovered over the years that may help.
# 1 When going out to look for aurora, stay out for more then five minutes. Most likely it will not immediately appear as you see in pictures. It can show up to the naked eye as a glowing cloud or a faint haze, but don’t discount this. If you watch it closely it can appear to swirl and shift. The aurora may rapidly increase in intensity the longer you are out there.
# 2 Testing for aurora with a camera is probably the best way to tell if it’s cloud or not. Starting with a exposure between 4-10 seconds and an ISO from 800-1600 you should be able to tell if it is aurora. For testing, there is no need for a tripod.
# 3 Depending on how much sleep you want, you may be inclined to stay up from dusk to dawn. The show may last that long.
# 4 Using an app can be a good way to tell if there is a chance of aurora or not. We use Aurora Pro to check to see if the KP-index (a disturbance of the earth’s magnetic field caused by solar wind) is high.
# 5 How far north do you have to go? Not as far as you may think, it can be sighted as far south as Michigan, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. As the range is a similar shape to a banana, it is not often seen in places such as Washington state, Oregon, and Massachusetts.
I hope this can help you see this amazing phenomenon.
If you have any questions feel free to contact us at [email protected]
Article and photos By Kyra