The Moon

When you plan your aurora viewing or vacation, know what the moon will be doing during your visit. Depending on what the moon looks like, will determine your aurora viewing experience. Night photography with no moon is more difficult than with the moon lighting up the landscape. A bright moon may wash away the details of a faint aurora and stars, but you can still see the aurora easily. Each experience, both new moon and full moon, are different, but both are wonderful. To experience both scenarios, book your aurora vacation with a night of partially visible moon.

There isn’t less of a “chance” to see aurora when there is a full moon. The moon has nothing to do with space weather conditions. When you see moon conversations online people are talking about the brightness of the moon completely washing away the auroral light. This is only the case when the aurora is very faint. When there is no moon visible, a faint aurora may also be difficult to see.

Complete 2021-22 Aurora Moon Calendar courtesy
Fairbanks Aurora Tours

Moon photo examples– The moon is beautiful with the aurora. Photography is easier, because more light is let into camera lens for the photo, the landscape is lit up, and people can be photographed with no additional light, if desired. Stars are more difficult to see, and therefore photograph.

Red green corona aurora
big bright aurora with moon
Chena Lakes North Pole Alaska moon aurora
The moon has an eyebrow! Seen with the naked eye no problem.
Faint aurora with the moon
Moon aurora clouds
Cloudy sky, moon, aurora

the moon lights up the landscape
North Pole high school moon red aurora
moon, light pollution, aurora
people at Chena Lakes
bright moonlit landscape

These photos below are with no moon. The aurora might light up the landscape if it is bright. Snow may appear to be green.

aurora at Chena dyke
bright aurora no moon
no moon aurora trees
no moon
massive aurora purple stars no moon
big aurora with no moon
aurora stars no moon
aurora, milky way, and no moon
this photo was difficult with no moon

Olnes Pond no moon
no moon, plenty of stars

Moon Phone Apps:
Daff Moon ABN favorite!!!
MOON – Current Moon Phase
Moon Phases
My Moon Phase – Lunar Calendar
Phases of the Moon
The Moon: Calendar Moon Phases

moon photo
How to make your own Moon Phases Calendar
moon cloud stars

4 Comments

  1. I’m trying to decide whether to book my trip for the beginning of Feb 2022 vs the beginning of March 2022. Both are new moons and we plan to stay for 3-4 nights. Which would be best to maximize my chances of seeing an amazing aurora? Thank you.

    1. I’m assuming you mean Fairbanks. Both are great months to see aurora. Feb is usually colder, but March is also very cold. March tends to be very sunny in the day. You’ll have less hours of darkness at night than Feb. There are more activities in March, such as the ice park and dog sled races. March is a popular time, so be sure to book as soon as possible for any reservations. For the new moon, if you plan on night sky photography, it is more difficult. Be sure to prepare for that also.

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