On June 21, summer solstice, the sun never sets in some parts of Yukon. The midnight sun makes for wondrous carmine and magenta skyscapes that last for hours.
The Yukon enjoys exceptional viewing of the aurora borealis. This wintertime phenomenon—known to many people as the Northern Lights—appears like undulating ribbons of green, blue and red light. Scientifically speaking, the Northern Lights are the aftermath of explosions on the sun known as solar flares. These explosions send a wave of high-energy particles into space. This ‘solar wind’ is drawn towards Earth’s magnetic fields, and solar dust particles concentrate like rings around the polar regions. They hit gases in our upper atmosphere and charge the gas molecules, making them glow like neon lights. If the earth did not have a magnetic field, we would not have the aurora.
Yukon’s low-light winters make for excellent viewing, and fall and spring produce the best effects. According to some, the northern lights even make a crackling noise, and the lights have inspired many myths and legends. The Yukon is also home of the Northern Lights Space & Science Centre housed in Watson Lake. The centre welcomes visitors year-round to learn about the aurora borealis and view simulations.
OTHER STORY IDEAS
Fascinating Yukon Phenomena
Mother Nature at Her Very Best
New Conquests for Seasoned Adventurers
Outrageous and Extraordinary Yukon Events
Yukon is world renowned as a legendary land imbued with gold rush history, frontier spirit and first nation culture. Listen to what fellow media travellers have to say about Yukon.