Nature's Light Show

Voyageurs National Park 

Green streaks of light fill the night sky, reflecting off the surface of a lake.
You too can dangle your feet off the edge of a dock while watching the northern lights dance across the sky.

NPS, Steve Dimse

Set far from the light pollution of major cities, very little obscures the night sky at Voyageurs.

The aurora borealis, more commonly known as the northern lights, are the radiant shimmering colors that occasionally light up the night sky, and which have fascinated mankind for ages. Aurora comes from the Latin word for sunrise and borealis pertains to the north. These colorful displays are caused by the release of photons resulting from the collisions of solar particles and molecules of nitrogen and oxygen in the atmosphere.

The chances of seeing the aurora borealis is a combination of what type of radiation is being produced by the Sun, your location on the Earth, and having clear skies at night. Your chances of seeing the aurora increase slightly during the winter based on the fact that there are more hours of darkness.

Best viewing occurs when the arrival of the solar radiation and particles corresponds with an evening when moonlight is at a minimum and the weather outside is clear. You'll want to find a dark sky viewing location away from outside lights, someplace like Voyageurs.

The night sky is filled with wonder. From the moon to Mars, the Milky Way to northern lights., when you look to the sky, a whole new world awaits. 

Last updated: December 17, 2015