Northern Lights in Manitoba (Churchill) offer a unique and extraordinary sight to visitors. Awe-inspiring and humbling, the encounter leaves one feeling incredibly little in the context of our glorious cosmos. Yet despite the seeming humility, there could nonetheless be a strong sense of importance present. The aurora Borealis’ magic is present here.
Move to Canada soon and visit the breathtaking view of the province of Manitoba.
Northern Lights in Manitoba – a summary
The aurora borealis continues to be a mysterious and intriguing phenomenon. The northern lights form a natural phenomenon inspiring numerous poetry and tales. Additionally, according to Inuit mythology, the moving, flickering lights are the ghosts of the dead engaging in a game of ball with a walrus skull.
Science is yet to fully explain some characteristics of the aurora borealis. However, geomagnetic storms, which force solar wind from the sun to flow toward the Earth, trigger the phenomenon.
Fortunately, the magnetic field shields our planet, which also pushes atoms and molecules into the atmosphere through collisions. The aurora, which can be seen with the unaided eye in the region, is the “Auroral Oval.” The little light sources, or protons, form this region.
Northern Lights in Manitoba – where to watch them?
Over 300 nights each year, on average, see aurora activity in Churchill. While the northern lights are visible throughout the year, they are most prominent in the winter months, especially in February and March when the skies are clear (much of the precipitation has already fallen) and dark.
The following prerequisites must be satisfied to observe the northern lights:
- Solar storms and increased activity on the sun
- No clouds present
- Auroral Oval location or a high KP index
- The moon and other sources of light are not present.
How to witness these lights?
Churchill Northern Studies Centre
Travelers looking for the northern lights have a reasonably priced, fully guided alternative at this functioning research site. It also offers perfect settings for stargazing because it is 30 minutes outside of Churchill.
To avoid any light pollution, the center’s lights are turned out as the northern lights appear. The hot dome at the top of the Centre and the outside observation deck are two places where you may see the aurora borealis. Photographers who want to include foreground subjects in their images may prefer to shoot from the ground up.
The majority of northern lights viewing occurs from the oh-so-comfy Thanadelthur Lounge. This is located outside the town on the opposite side of the frozen Churchill River. Frontiers North Adventures provides a Northern Lights and Winter Nights package that departs from Winnipeg. A stop at Dan’s Diner, a temporary Tundra Buggy dining hall tucked away in the wilderness and beneath the northern lights, is a must-do on the agenda. Here, passengers enjoy a multi-course, fine-dining supper with regional and local cuisine made by Canadian Chef Jared Fossen. Finish off your days with a guided snowshoeing excursion and visits to some of the local museums and interpretative institutes.
Viewing the Northern Lights in Manitoba from the Aurora Pod and Aurora Dome
When you reserve your northern lights excursion with Natural Habitat Adventures, you’ll have exclusive access to the warm and cozy Aurora Pod®. This has been specially created for witnessing the aurora borealis at 360-degree views of the sky due to revolutionary glass construction and cushioned chairs. Additionally, the fully guided group excursion takes you to the Aurora Domes, where you may spend the evening unwinding in the lounge or ascending to one of the two Plexiglass-topped viewing domes to take in the stars. Additionally, Natural Habitat offers a trip on a specially constructed snow coach that transports visitors far into the woods to a lodge where they may watch wildlife.
With a focus on small groups and one-on-one photography instruction from lead guide Alex DiVries, Discover Churchill provides a range of formats for viewing the northern lights. Join Discover Churchill on a multi-night, guided tour to see the aurora in a variety of settings, including a tipi in the boreal forest.
Interestingly, one may capture the aurora with the backdrop of a yurt hidden deep in the arctic forest on Nanuk Operations’ Nights Under Lights. This is a guided evening photography trip that is best suited for independent travelers. From the yurt’s expansive, wraparound deck, all guests get a spectacular view of the city lights. They can also go inside to warm up by the fire and have a nightcap.
In order to capture the lights from Tiffany Spence, the owner of Beyond Boreal Expeditions, favorite sites in Churchill are visited solely at night with visitors.