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The stars have aligned for aurora viewing in 2012

By Chris McLennan, courtesy Travel Alaska

Now might be a good time for groups to plan for a trip to Alaska later this year or early next to see the aurora borealis. Scientists are predicting an increase in sunspot activity this winter and continuing into 2013, and this means more active, colorful aurora during the normal viewing season.

Some sources are forecasting that 2012 could see the most vibrant display in 50 years.
Due to northern Alaska’s location in the auroral zone and with so many viewing options , from evening dog sled rides and snowshoe hikes to Arctic Circle expeditions, remote lodges or natural hot springs.

Alaska’s peak aurora season extends from late August to late April, though sightings can occur all year. Many hotels in Alaska offer aurora wake-up calls, and travelers can always check the online aurora forecast in advance of their trip at