Lights that seem close enough to touch.

There are two Aurora seasons in the Northwest Territories – autumn when the land and lakes are still warm, and winter when the land and lakes are frozen. Each season has its own special attraction. Tip your head back in awe to catch the glittering Northern Lights dancing across the sky. Whether you prefer rugged or pampered, Northwest Territories tour operators and lodges offer day trips and three and four day packages designed to show you the best of the spectacular Aurora.

Lots of people swear the lights hiss and crackle. But for a long time, researchers said they were hearing things. 

Scientifically speaking, the “noisy Aurora” theory seems mad. The lightshow happens at least 60 kilometres overhead, in the soundless void of space. And even if it could make a noise up there, the sound would take five minutes to get to Earth.

But a few years ago, a Finnish scientist threw all that knowledge for a loop. Aalto University acoustic researcher Unto K. Laine placed three low-frequency microphones beneath a magnetic storm and captured a “weird surging hiss.” The explanation for the noise is a mystery, but “there’s something going on,” says Tom Hallinen, a professor at Alaska’s Geophysical Institute. “It’s scientifically unreasonable, but people do hear it.”


Aurora 223 ee20479f-552b-4552-8291-566042c7c549
Aurora reflected over a lake in the fall

Dark skies return, and the lights only come out at night