How to see the Northern Lights in France (yes, you read that right)

Photographie d'une aurore boréale au dessus du mont saint michel

Are you fascinated by the Northern Lights and want to maximize your chances of seeing them? You’ll love what happens next.

The aurora borealis is a natural phenomenon that attracts travellers from all over the world to the polar regions (Iceland, Canada, Norway and Finland spring to mind). However, recently (February 2023), the aurora borealis was spotted in the skies over certain regions of France, offering an astonishing spectacle to locals and astronomy enthusiasts alike. This exceptional appearance of the aurora borealis in France has aroused great interest and curiosity, leaving scientists and enthusiasts alike wondering why and how this phenomenon came about.

We’ve compiled the best information on how to spot the Northern Lights. And yes, given the rarity of the phenomenon, it’s best to be prepared to maximize your chances of being in the front row!

To better understand the phenomenon, this article explains and popularizes the formation of the aurora borealis: What is an aurora borealis?

Find an area with low light pollution

These phenomena are very faint and can easily be masked by artificial light. It is therefore essential to stay away from large cities, where light pollution is often high. Mountainous areas or national parks often offer good observation conditions, as they have an unobstructed view of the sky and low light pollution.

An unobstructed view to the north

The aurora borealis appears in the direction of the North Magnetic Pole. The aurora borealis is caused by charged particles emitted by the sun interacting with the Earth’s magnetosphere in the polar regions. The charged particles follow the Earth’s magnetic field lines, which then converge towards the poles. That’s why it’s important to look north to observe an aurora borealis.

In France, the most northerly regions of the country are recommended for viewing the northern lights with a clear view to the north. In other words, the northernmost regions, such as Brittany, Normandy, Hauts-de-France, Grand Est and Alsace.

Plan for favorable weather conditions

To observe the Northern Lights in France, it’s important to keep an eye on the weather. In particular, look for clear nights with low cloud cover and low humidity. Websites such as Météo France, La chaîne météo and Infoclimat can provide accurate weather forecasts to help plan an aurora borealis viewing.

Monitoring solar activity

We also recommend keeping an eye on solar activity. Indeed, increased solar activity can increase the chances of seeing aurora borealis. SpaceWeatherLive. com provides real-time solar activity forecasts.

By following these valuable tips, you can enjoy an unforgettable experience and capture fascinating images of the aurora borealis in the French sky.