A burst in electromagnetic activity has increased the chances of seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland this week, with a high likelihood expected in much of the country this evening.

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The Aurora Borealis are naturally occurring phenomena caused electromagnetic activity in the Earth’s ionosphere. Electromagnetic waves from the sun cause particles to become charged in the atmosphere and the result is a dance of green, purple and sometimes even white lights in the night sky.

How much do you know about the Northern Lights in Iceland? Find out more here.

To see the northern lights, the ideal weather is cold, with clear skies. The likelihood of them being seen is measured in a system called the KP index. This is a scale of numbers from 0 to 9. Tonight’s aurora forecast has a KP index of between 3 and 4, which provides a good chance of seeing this natural wonder.

Useful tips for seeing the Northern Lights are to find places free of cloud cover and as little light pollution as possible. Although areas in Reykjavík and Southern Iceland are experiencing cloud and winds today, they are set to subside around midnight. The highest chance of seeing the lights is predicted to be around 3 am. 

Recently NASA posted an image of a spectacular ‘Dragon Aurora’ as their astronomy photo of the day. This image was taken by Australian university student Jingyi Zhang, right here in Iceland.

Image Credit: Jingyi Zhang & Wang Zheng

As we are heading, very slowly, towards summer, the days are starting to get longer, so sunset this evening will be around 8 O’clock. From the moment it’s dark, it’s anyone’s guess where and when the lights will appear, but that’s part of the thrill of the hunt, and when you finally get to see them, it’s all worth it.

So pack a warm coat and find an ideal spot tonight to gaze at the sky, and remember, if you aren’t lucky enough to see the Northern Lights, you’re still fortunate enough to be gazing at the beautiful night sky in one of the most gorgeous countries on the planet.

Happy hunting!