Northern Lights Free Livestream

by Tuan

Seeing the northern lights, or the aurora borealis, is a dream for many, but experiencing it requires a bit of luck. Though the northern lights occur daily in different parts of the Northern Hemisphere, they’re not always happening everywhere all at once, so there’s never a guarantee that you’ll see them at any given time. Plus, conditions need to be just right — that means no clouds and as little light pollution as possible!

As you wait for your chance to see the northern lights in real life, whether that’s on a trip to a northern lights hotspot or during a powerful solar storm that brings the northern lights to your home skies, you can tune into aurora live streams to get a taste of what you might see one day.

Keep in mind that most of these webcams only run from the fall to the spring, as it’s too bright during the summertime in the far north to see the northern lights. By the same token, some only turn on at night. And some of these cams only update once every few seconds — or sometimes even less frequently. But for a little taste of the northern lights, they’ll get the job done.

Here are seven Northern Lights webcams to tune into at night.

  1. University of Alaska, Fairbanks and Fairbanks, Alaska
    The University of Alaska, Fairbanks, is home to the Geophysical Institute, which not only studies the aurora but also makes predictions about when they might appear.
  2. Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks: Fairbanks, Alaska
    Speaking of the Geophysical Institute, the center also runs a 360-degree camera for an all-sky view of the northern lights.
  3. Polar Bears International and Churchill, Manitoba, Canada
    Churchill, Manitoba, may be best known as a viewing destination for polar bears and beluga whales, but in the winter, it’s a top spot to see the northern lights.
  4. Lights Over Lapland: Abisko, Sweden
    Tour company Lights Over Lapland runs aurora-seeing trips in Swedish Lapland’s Abisko National Park. But if you can’t make it on a tour this season, you can see the skies via this live stream.
  5. Athabasca University Geospace Observatory: Athabasca County, Alberta, Canada
    Located about two hours north of Edmonton, Alberta, Athabasca University’s Geospace Observatory operates this 24-hour all-sky camera.
  6. Aurora Service Tours: Utsjoki, Finland 
    Up in Finnish Lapland, Aurora Service Tours takes guests out on northern lights–viewing trips — and runs this live stream for those at home.
  7. Banff Sunshine Village: Banff, Alberta, Canada
    Ski resort Banff Sunshine Village operates this live stream 24 hours a day. Even if the northern lights aren’t out, the mountain view is still beautiful enough to tune in.
  8. Lyngen North: Rotsund, Norway
    Lyngen North is a Norwegian hotel known for its glass igloos — which are perfect for aurora-viewing. Until you can book a room, check out this webcam to see the northern lights from home.

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