Have you ever seen that movie, The Bucket List, starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman? In the movie the two co-stars do the most exciting things known to man: drive a Shelby Mustang, fly over the North Pole, ride motorcycles on the Great Wall of China, visit Mount Everest and go on a safari in Africa. Airlink Shuttle and Tours would like to help visitors to Fairbanks cross seeing the Northern Lights off their Bucket List!
What are the Northern Lights?
The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, is a naturally occurring phenomenon. It occurs when charged electrons traveling in solar winds strike the the upper atmosphere and lose their energy. This causes a light display in the sky that can be seen around the arctic and antarctic regions of Earth.
Northern Lights can display a range of colors. At the highest altitude, red color is emitted from oxygen molecules. Excited nitrogen molecules produce a green color at a middle altitudes. At the lowest altitudes, molecular nitrogen and ionized molecular nitrogen combine is producing wavelengths with both red and blue color. These red, green and blue colors are often occurring simultaneously at different altitudes many miles apart. This gives the Northern Lights the appearance of dancing in the sky like curtains in the wind. Cameras can often pick up additional colors in photography that are invisible or only partially visible the eye.
Since Ancient Times, the local Eskimo and Athabaskan Native Alaskans have reported hearing auroral noise — a hissing or crackling noise made by the aurora borealis on a cold night. This has since been confirmed by scientist who report that this effect is caused by charged particles striking an atmospheric temperature inversion layer on a cold night. The Northern Lights are truly a sight and sound for body and mind.
How can we see the Northern Lights?
Fairbanks, Alaska is without a doubt the best location for viewing the Northern Lights in the world. The Northern Lights can be seen best outside of the city limits between September and April each year. A tourist who stays three nights in Fairbanks has a 90% of seeing the Northern Lights.
Taking a Northern Lights Tour to Murphy Dome Road will increase your chances and result in better quality photos. Airlink Shuttle and Tours picks up guests from local Fairbanks hotels and B&Bs before driving out-of-town on Murphy Dome Road until the wee hours of the morning in search of the Northern Lights. Hop out of the van, get a breath of fresh air, take a selfie and photograph your group with the Aurora in the background.
Alternative, let us take you out to a remote wilderness lodge where you can wait in the lap of luxury sipping a mug of hot chocolate as you wait for the lights show to begin. We’ll pick you up and drive you to a cozy lodge to view the blue, red and green auroral colors. We’ll take your group back to Fairbanks around 2 AM.
Our Murphy Dome Road tours start at $85 per person for groups of three or more. The Aurora Tour at a viewing lodge starts at $100 per person for groups of three or more.
Interested in booking a northern lights tour with Airlink Alaska? Give us a call toll-free at 855.454.8094 or in Fairbanks at 907.452.3337 Send us an e-mail at [email protected] or use the contact form.