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Moon or No Moon for Northern Lights; which is best?

A new moon will provide a star filled sky, which is incredible on its own.  The only problem with this is that if you want to capture the lights on your camera then the landscape in front of you is very dark and will make it difficult to add some perspective to your shots.

Some photographers say they actually prefer to capture the aurora when there’s a moon in the sky. Todd Salat at the website AuroraHunter.com wrote of shooting the aurora in moonlight:

“I personally like moonlight because it lights up the foreground and makes the sky a deep blue instead of pitch black like with no moon. I watch the lunar phase very carefully”.

In short the light from the moon is not the key thing but more important is the strength of the Aurora.  If they are medium to strong you will see the lights regardless of the moon, if they are weak then it will be difficult.  They best thing to do is to pick your dates carefully, October and March are historically the best months for continuous Northern Lights and the dark months in between give a good opportunity to see them.  The next thing which is important for Northern Lights hunters is to select your destination with a view to being out of town; light pollution is always a difficult thing to combat.

We have clients who have given us reports of excellent viewings in all sorts of conditions, the most important thing of all is to be there!!!

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