Where would one go to see the northern lights?

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Dear Tom,

One of my “bucket list” items is to see the northern lights. Where would I have to go to see them?

Thanks,
Wayne Schleehauf
Streamwood

Dear Wayne,

You could stay here, but on average, the northern lights are only visible in Chicago about once every two years, and they would be hard to see because of light pollution. However, away from the city in dark rural areas, they might be visible a few times each year. They have actually been sighted in all 50 states and as far south as northern Mexico, but your best bet is to travel north where the frequency of auroral displays increases dramatically, peaking with as many as 100 annual sightings in Alaska and northern Canada. Autumn and winter are the most common times for viewing the aurora borealis as the period of darkness increases from its summertime minimum.

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