Spectacular Northern Lights Displays in March 2023
SPECTACULAR NORTHERN LIGHTS DISPLAYS IN MARCH
The Northern Lights have made the headlines throughout February and March this year, with spectacular displays observed at our holiday destinations in the Arctic Circle.
The displays were so strong, they were even seen on the horizon across the UK.
But did we know this was going to happen and why?
Credit - Peter Forister
March, March, March, March! - When is the Best Time to see the Northern Lights?
March is the best time to see the Northern Lights
I have lost count of the number of times I have been asked when the best time is to see the Northern Lights but, my answer is always the same: March.
However, despite numerous blogs, interviews, and social media output, frustratingly, I have never been able to convince our clientele about the merits of the year’s third month. I honestly do not understand why but, the best month for hunting the Northern Lights remains one of our quietest aurora chasing months.
It is baffling.
The scientific evidence is compelling and includes painstaking research from NASA proving that geomagnetic activity is historically at its highest in the weeks around the spring equinox (20 March 2022). What does geomagnetic activity make? That’s right, the Aurora Borealis.
Spring is here and so are the Northern Lights!
As we have mentioned in many a previous blog, March is a brilliant time to go in search of the Northern Lights. This is not just our personal opinion either! Studies by NASA solar physicist David Hathaway show that March is one of the most geomagnetically active months of the year (see graph below), and the reason for this is springtime. Or to be more accurate the spring equinox.
March and the Northern Lights……a marriage made in the heavens
Why you should travel in March to see the Northern Lights
Many people associate the Northern Lights with the cold depths of winter, and though we have seen some excellent displays come out of our Aurora Zone destinations this season, we’re also extremely excited to see what March will bring.
The Proof is Very Much in the Auroral Pudding
If you receive our newsletter you may recall that we recently highlighted that the Northern Lights occur more frequently in especially around the spring and autumn equinoxes.
The essence of the article was as follows:
“One strange side effect of the equinox is a dramatically increased likelihood of auroras………….
NASA data shows that geomagnetic disturbances are twice as likely to occur around the equinoxes (March-April), (September-October) than around the solstices. Why? The answer is likely the same reason for the season: axial tilt."
(Image taken 17/03/16 by Antti Pietikainen)