When To Go
Visible: August - March
Packages: February - March
One of the Best Places in the World to View Northern Lights in Canada
Churchill is located in the Auroral Oval, meaning it is a great destination to view the northern lights, or aurora borealis. The northern lights can be seen in Churchill up to 300 nights a year.
Because Churchill is a top place to view northern lights, you can see them while visiting during beluga whale season (June to September) or polar bear season (October and November). The clear, dark skies of February and March are among the best times to observe northern lights.
Heated Viewing Dome
Churchill tour operators offer a number of different packages and structures built specifically for watching and photographing this amazing light show. The Aurora Domes are heated Plexiglas domes located away from the lights of the town that offer a cool vantage to admire these colourful curtains of light. The Churchill Northern Studies Centre also features a viewing dome inside its LEED Silver facility located on a historic rocket range.
Custom Viewing Lounge
The Aurora Pod is a custom-built structure with 360-degree views of the sky thanks to its innovative glass construction and cushioned sets. The Aurora Lounge is a cozy space to view the lights that also features a rooftop observation deck. Select package departures also include a chance to dine under the dancing northern lights while enjoying a meal featuring regional and local fare in a pop-up restaurant.
Many packages include northern lights photography instruction, including Nights Under Lights, which is a guided evening outing where you can shoot the northern lights from a yurt tucked deep in the boreal forest.
About Churchill's Northern Lights
The aurora borealis (or northern lights) is a natural phenomenon caused by the interaction of charged particles from the sun with atoms in the upper atmosphere.
In order to see northern lights there must be an increase in solar storms on the sun, there must be clear skies, you must be located in the Auroral Oval and there must be a high KP index. Churchill is situated beneath the Auroral Oval, so it has a much higher chance of meeting these requirements.
The chance to see northern lights is the greatest during February and March, when the nights are long and cold temperatures often mean clear skies. Green is a common colour for northern lights, but other colours include purple and pink.