Alaska Aurora Borealis

What colors of aurora can I see in Alaska?

Usually, green is the most often seen color of aurora in Alaska, but it is not unheard of to see red and purple colors as well. Non-green aurora are often prized by watchers and photographers because they are not as common as a green aurora is.

What are the best times to see aurora in Alaska?

Times vary depending on where you are in the state. The sun doesn’t set during the summer, so your best viewing periods are limited to spring, fall and winter. August through March are usually the months where the aurora can be seen. In Fairbanks, you can start seeing the aurora in the middle of August when the sky is dark enough. For places further north, it’s later than that.

What are the best places to see the aurora in Alaska?

The aurora is amazing, because standard stargazing rules don’t usually apply. Many aurora watchers can be in the middle of downtown Anchorage, which is very bright, and see spectacular aurora. That being said, if you are photographing the aurora, you may want to get out of town where it’s darker. Light may interfere with the photograph.

Is it easy to photograph the aurora?

Yes, it’s surprisingly easy. For great pictures, all you need is a tripod or something to set the camera on, and the ability to take longer exposure photos. Setting the camera on a tripod prevents it from shaking in your hands and blurring the image during a longer exposure. All of the photographs below were taken with a Canon Rebel XT set to an exposure time of 30 seconds. That’s it. Shorter durations, like 10 to 15 seconds are usually just fine in taking aurora photographs.

High quality photographs of the aurora borealis (or the northern lights) taken in or around Fairbanks, Alaska.

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Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

Image by Matthew Schroder.

About the Author

There is no shortage of science fiction reading here. No lack of appreciation for beards, love of coffee or obsession over blueberries.