Updated: Oct 8, 2021
Do you want to see colorful bands of light dancing in the dark night sky? Have you heard others marvel about "aurora borealis" or "northern lights" but were not sure what they were referring to? Discover AURORA BOREALIS—Alaska's treasure!
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Where Is the Aurora Borealis Located?
Aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, is an amazing natural light show only visible at certain times of the year and at certain locations, within the earth's northern hemisphere. One of the best places to see the aurora borealis is in Fairbanks, Alaska. Typically, in Fairbanks, the best time to see the northern lights is between August and April.
Fairbanks is the second most populous metropolitan area in Alaska—after Anchorage. It is located in the heart of Alaska's Interior on the banks of the Chena River in the Tanana Valley.
Fairbanks is serviced by Fairbanks International Airport (FAI). FAI is three miles southwest of the central business district of Fairbanks.
What Makes the Aurora Borealis Spectacular?
The aurora borealis occurs many miles above the earth's surface—sometimes 60 or more miles! Electrically charged particles traveling through the earth's atmosphere crash into gasses, creating energy in the form of light. This collision produces beautiful colors—commonly a yellow-green color but also red, blue, and purple patterns.
"Manufactured lights pale in comparison to the natural light produced by the aurora borealis."
When viewing the aurora borealis, it is important to select an area that has little to no light pollution. Towns and cities produce ambient light which interferes with viewing the aurora borealis. Fairbanks is an ideal location to view the aurora borealis because it is under the Auroral Oval—a ring-shaped zone over the far north where aurora activity is concentrated.
What Are the Weather and Climate Like?
The climate of Fairbanks, Alaska is subarctic with severe winters, no dry season, and cool, short summers. The hottest month to visit Fairbanks, Alaska, on average, is in July, with the average high being around 72 °F. The coldest month to visit Fairbanks, Alaska, on average, is in January, with the average low being around -19 °F.
Precipitation is not abundant in Fairbanks, Alaska. The wettest month on average is in July, with the amount being 2.7” of rainfall.
There are times when there is heavy snowfall in Fairbanks, Alaska. On average, the month with the most accumulation is in November, with 13.8” of snowfall. February is second with 12.6” and December is third with 12.1”.
Is It Safe to Visit?
It is always a good idea to perform a "background check" before you visit another state or country to determine if it is safe to do so. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted travel around the world, and it has left a large footprint that is visible for all to see.
Feel free to visit our COVID-19 Resources page which contains a useful tool that will allow you to do a "background check" on the state—or country—you desire to visit. Simply enter the name of the state or country within the search bar and useful links will automatically populate providing you access to COVID-19 warnings and other travel guidance.
Why Should I Visit?
If you would like to experience an event like no other, you will want to see the aurora borealis! The beautiful array of colors mixed with the different shapes the aurora takes on produce a splendid masterpiece worthy of a standing ovation!
Would you like a creative way to visit Fairbanks, Alaska, and see the aurora borealis firsthand? You will benefit from the services of a Credit Card Miles & Points Consultant. They may be able to assist you in developing a plan that will allow you to travel at a fraction of the cost compared to the traditional way of paying for a vacation.