Big year for northern lights tourism in Alaska

Discussion in 'Other U.S. Destinations' started by sobore, Feb 24, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    http://www.khaleejtimes.com/travel/...ravels/2013/February/kttravels_February12.xml

    Bill Carter had been planning his bucket-list winter vacation to Alaska for 30 years, and he couldn’t have picked a better time to take it.

    The retired chemist from Jesup, Ga., didn’t mind that February temperatures can hover near minus 40 degrees on the outskirts of Fairbanks, because the night sky there offered Carter something most people never get to see: the aurora borealis.

    “Yellows, oranges, greens. There were light bursts that would come from time to time,” Carter said during his trip. “There were light rays that seemed to come from the ground up, and from the sky down.”
    The northern lights can be seen on dark, clear nights when charged solar particles strike the upper atmosphere near the North Pole. Because of a predicted peak in a solar cycle, this year and next year are expected to offer prime viewing for the elusive phenomenon. So Alaska’s tourism industry is gearing up for thousands of visitors like Carter — including jet loads from Japan — who are willing to wait outside in freezing weather, often for hours past midnight, in hopes of catching a once-in-a-lifetime glimpse of the lights.

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    This April 12, 2012 file photo shows the northern lights near an observatory outside Fairbanks, Alaska. This year and next year are expected to offer prime viewing for the northern lights due to a peak in the cycle of solar activity that causes the lights. The Fairbanks region of Alaska is gearing up for increased tourism as visitors flock to see the colorful but elusive phenomenon. - AP

    Read More: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/travel/...ravels/2013/February/kttravels_February12.xml
     
  2. Japanese tourists by the 1000's are invading towns in Northern Canada this year to see those sights.
     
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  3. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    I've been fortunate enough to see amazing shows, colors, black/white displays. It is truly a magical experience.

    They can be seen quite far south, I was looking at a photo journal of someone from central IL & they have photos of the lights. Obviously these displays are not as jaw dropping as being up north.
     
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