If green, blue or purple waves appear out of nowhere in the night sky, which continuously move, like water in the sea, this can only mean one thing – the northern lights have begun. The spectacle is so impressive that over time a special category of tourists appeared – hunters for the polar miracle. Russia can boast of vast expanses located in close proximity to the North Pole, which means that you can see the astronomical phenomenon without a passport. In this article we will tell you where to go for the “dancing of the sky” in Russia.
The closest area to Moscow suitable for observing the northern lights is the Murmansk region. The color of the shine is usually greenish here. To increase your chances of seeing a celestial show, you should drive away from large cities that only light up the sky and go, for example, to Teriberka, Vidyaevo, Polyarny, Pechenega or another small village.
The Northern Lights are poorly predictable and depend on the magnetic activity of the Sun. In other words, he will have to wait and literally “catch”, which means that the trip is worth a week or more. You can diversify your experience with skiing in the Khibiny or active recreation on the Kola Peninsula.
When to go: Late August to May
The northern lights in the polar Naryan-Mar are very beautiful, they consist of several shades and are accompanied by flickering, which turns the picture into a fairy tale. This natural phenomenon is usually observed with a sharp change in weather.
While waiting for the polar lights, you can visit one of the nomad camps who live in tents (huts covered with reindeer skins), try fried venison and ride a reindeer sleigh.
When to go: November to March
Arkhangelsk and Severodvinsk
In the Arkhangelsk region, the general rule of observing the northern lights works – the further from large settlements, the brighter the “dance of the sky” will be. Severodvinsk is very often in the northern lights zone. This natural phenomenon there is distinguished by a green tint and a specific shimmer. Nobody can say for sure how long the sky above your head will shine and shimmer. Sometimes the glow lasts 10 minutes, and sometimes several days.
When to go: September to April
Taimyr Peninsula, Krasnoyarsk Territory
Taimyr is called the edge of cold – the duration of winter here ranges from 235 days in the south to 285 days in the north of the peninsula. The climate is extremely harsh: from minus 40 ° C to minus 60 ° C. Taimyr is also known as the land of rare amazing northern lights.
When to go: September to March
The Yakut land is chained in ice and snow for seven to eight months a year. At the same time, her winter nights are accompanied by one of the brightest and most colorful species of the Northern Lights. In the coldest place of the Northern Hemisphere – Verkhoyansk and the village of Oymyakon – this astronomical phenomenon is not uncommon. For a change, you can ride reindeer, fish on the Indigirka River and visit the Vostochnaya weather station.
When to go: October to April
Northern Lights hunting season
The brightest auroras occur from the autumn (September 22-23) to the spring equinox (March 20-21). But the chances of catching aurora are still higher in winter, from about November to February. Moreover, in high latitudes at this time the night lasts 18-20 hours, and even faint auroras will be seen more clearly. The best time of day for observation is from 10 pm to 3 am.
To watch for the northern lights, you need to follow the forecasts of the so-called space weather. After a solar flare, the probability of seeing the northern lights in the coming days increases threefold. The most accurate predictions can be found on the website of our Russian Space Research Institute.