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Posts Tagged ‘aurora borealis’

2013 should be a great year at Churchill Wild for Aurora Borealis!

Aurora Borealis / Northern Lights at Seal River Lodge, Manitoba, Canada

2013 should be a great year at the Lodge for the Northern Lights!

2013 is being forecast as an unbelievable opportunity for star gazers to witness an Aurora Borealis year like few others. Churchill Wild is hoping for just that!

Just as the earth has cycles which we call seasons, the sun’s energy output also has changes. These changes occur roughly every 11 years. We call these changes the solar cycle. During the last cycle, there were few magnetic storms on the sun, sunspots were rare, and geomagnetic disturbances on earth were nearly nonexistent. We are now however, five years into a solar maximum cycle which is approaching its projected peak in 2013.

As far back as 2006, solar scientists began predicting that our next solar maximum would be one of the strongest yet. The next sunspot cycle will be 30% to 50% stronger than the previous one. If correct, the year ahead could produce a burst of solar activity second only to the historic Solar Max of 1958. So what can happens during this predicted solar season?Northern-Lights

Sunspots increase and harbor more energy. At times, this energy is released in the form of coronal mass ejections (CMEs). A CME consists of plasma from the sun itself — electrons and protons — with an accompanying magnetic field.

When the charged particles strike the earth’s magnetosphere, they travel down the magnetic field lines to the poles, colliding with atoms in our atmosphere along the way. These collisions can create an Aurora Borealis display that can incredibly be seen as far south as Mexico during strong solar events.

Everyone here at Churchill Wild is keeping their fingers crossed for clear and cloudless nights in 2013, so we can all enjoy the show.

One of the best places in the north to see the Aurora Borealis is at Dymond Lake Eco-Lodge in our custom made Aurora Viewing Platform during our Great Ice Bear Adventure. Spots are filling up for this one-of-a-kind wilderness safari as Aurora and polar bear enthusiasts worldwide are anticipating an incredible viewing season.

We hope you’ll join us!

Northern Lights: Sky Pirouettes of the Aurora Borealis

Northern Lights at Churchill Wild's Polar Bear Lodge

Northern Lights at Churchill Wild's Polar Bear Lodge

Guest Post by Tess Pajaron

You may have heard the phenomenon referred to as the Northern Lights, but whatever you want to call it, the Aurora Borealis is an amazing sight that every traveler should experience.

This natural light show will take your breath away, putting to shame any laser show you might see at a rock concert. The most common color you will see is a yellow-green glow, but reds and blues may also be scattered about the night sky in all different shapes and forms that you will never forget.

What causes Aurora Borealis to occur? A constant stream of electrically charged particles called the “solar wind” that travel to the earth from the sun. When these particles reach the earth’s atmosphere, they smash into atoms and release energy. This energy is what causes the brilliant light show known as Aurora Borealis.

Where Should You Go to Get the Best View of the Aurora Borealis?

The Aurora Borealis is called the Northern Lights because it happens near the North Pole. It’s is a good idea to try and get as far north as possible. In North America, Canada is a perfect place to get a great view of this amazing event. Plan a trip for between September and November, the best months to view the Aurora Borealis in all its natural beauty.

Once in Canada, the key to seeing this stunning phenomenon is to get yourself as far away from any urban areas as possible. The man-made lights of the city block your ability to see the full display of natural light that the Aurora Borealis gives off. Getting away from this urban “light pollution” can be the difference between seeing just a glimpse of the Northern Lights, and getting the full experience of this one-of-a-kind natural light show.

Where Should You Stay When You Travel to See the Aurora Borealis?

As you now know, staying in the city is not a great idea if you want to experience the Northern Lights. However, there are some amazing lodges in the Canadian wilderness that are perfect for viewing the Aurora Borealis.

You might want to check out Churchill Wild, a company that offers an incredible wilderness experience complete with your choice of a few different lodges. Fly in to one of their remote locations for their trademark polar bear safaris and stay right in the middle of the wild. Their Seal River Heritage Lodge, Dymond Lake Eco-Lodge, and Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge are all perfect viewing spots along the Hudson Bay.

While at the lodges, there are many other things to see and do in addition to viewing the Aurora Borealis. And you don’t even have to rough it. Their lodges are full of creature comforts, offering gourmet meals and comfortable private rooms.

Your safari with Churchill Wild starts with a commercial flight from Winnipeg to Churchill. The breathtaking charter journey to the lodges will give you a bird’s eye view of the vast land you are about to explore. But don’t worry, the flight is low enough that you can see all of the amazing animals you will be flying over.

Once at the lodge, there will be many daytime activities to choose from. Churchill Wild specializes in polar bear viewing, which is definitely something that anyone who takes a trip to the Canadian wilderness should check out.

Tess Pajaron

Tess Pajaron

Walking and hiking tours through the surrounding areas are also provided. Then at night, you will have a front row seat to the awe-inspiring natural spectacle of the Aurora Borealis!

Tess Pajaron is part of the team behind OpenColleges. She has traveled to many different countries and loves to discover new and exciting places.

Incredible Northern Lights at Seal River Heritage Lodge for Churchill Wild’s Arctic Safari

World renowned professional photographer Charles Glatzer is at Seal River Heritage Lodge right now sampling Churchill Wild’s first ever Arctic Safari. Charles circulated this picture to some friends, as well as Churchill Wild staff & guests:

Charles Glatzer's Northern Lights at Seal River Heritage Lodge (click to enlarge)

You can see more of Charles’ incredible work on his website and blog.

The Arctic Safari is Churchill Wild’s most ambitious adventure. When it was announced last May it immediately sold out!

Fashioned after a traditional African safari, Churchill Wild owner Mike Reimer saw an opportunity to offer Churchill Wild’s own version of “The Big Five” in the arctic. Set against the visually stunning fall colors of early September, the Arctic Safari promises to be an all encompassing encounter with endless photo opportunities and arctic wildlife experiences.

A small window in early September provides the perfect apex to see the widest variety of wildlife and brilliant displays of Aurora Borealis. The Arctic Safari takes you over 20,000 square kilometers of the wildest regions in the Arctic; providing the potential of seeing wolves, caribou, moose, three species of bears (polar, black and grizzly), beluga whales, arctic and colored fox, wolverine, beaver, pine marten and arctic birds.

To find out more about the Arctic Safari or other polar bear watching tours offered by Churchill Wild check out the website. Every adventure offered by Churchill Wild includes the one-of-a-kind access of walking with polar bears, on the ground, up close & personal (and safe).

Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge – What’s it really like? Photojournalist and adventure travel blogger Birgit-Cathrin Duval tells all

Night at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge

Nightfall at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge - Photo Credit: Birgit-Cathrin Duval

Writer/photographer Birgit-Cathrin Duval, who was recently nominated for a Best International Story Award 2010, was a recent visitor to Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge - and she documented the entire experience!

An adventurous type who says she would rather sleep in a tent than a 5-star hotel, Birgit-Cathrin also says she loves the challenge of getting to where she’s going, meeting great people and listening to their stories.

“I don’t want to write a story,” she says in her bio. “I want to live it and bring back those experiences to my readers.”

Whether it be mountain biking in the Rockies, snowshoeing in Banff, riding horses in ranchland or swimming with beluga whales and hiking with polar bears, Birgit-Cathrin wants to be “in” the story. 

Polar Bear at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge

Morning visit from polar bear at Nanuck - Photo Credit: Birgit-Cathrin Duval

That’s exactly what happened at Nanuck, where she found “friendly” polar bears, stormy weather and spectacular aurora borealis – all of which she photographed for her blog.

Birgit-Cathrin’s entire polar bear trip is documented on her visual storytelling blog at http://www.takkiwrites.com/. The blog is written in German but if you are using the Google Chrome browser with built in Google Translate, you can also read about her trip in English. And you definitely want to check out the photos!

Thanks for visiting Birgit-Cathrin!

Caribou to Wolves Ecotour covers over 20,000 square kilometers of Canada’s Arctic wilderness!

Arctic Wolf Photo Canada

Canadian Arctic Wolf on the prowl!

An expedition that guides fight over to lead! The Caribou to Wolves Ecotour is one of those adventure vacations that has the potential to do it all – to overwhelm your senses with an endless offering of spectacular flora and fauna – and the ability to create “shutter bugging” exhaustion!

Explore vast areas of Canada’s last remaining wilderness, from the Arctic “Serengeti” the great tundra plains known as The Barren Lands, through “The Land of Little Sticks” and finally down into the Boreal Forests on the edge of the Canadian Shield.

The Caribou to Wolves Ecotour takes you over 20,000 square kilometers of the wildest regions in Canada’s Arctic, home to wolves, caribou, moose, three species of bears (polar, black & grizzly), Arctic & colored fox, wolverine, beaver, pine marten and countless bird life all set on a kaleidoscope of spectacular fall colors.

Listening to the spine tingling thrill of a howling wolf pack, while mesmerized by the dancing Aurora, is life changing. This adventure will touch you like no other experience can. Of course it can’t hurt that you have just finished a gourmet meal at our luxury North Knife Lake Wilderness Lodge and you’re lounging outside in the wood fired hot tub sipping a glass of fine wine!

From our rugged cozy Caribou camp on Schmok Lake to the luxurious expanse of North Knife Lake Lodge we will pamper you with finest service, guides, accommodations, and gourmet cuisine found south of the Arctic Circle – truly the trip of a lifetime.

For more information on the Caribou to Wolves Ecotour please visit the Churchill Wild Web site.