The Lure of the Aurora Borealis

Tourists visit the Yukon to see the aurora; it’s the heart of the winter tourism industry. Visitors who have done their research will also have other activities in mind. People arrive from around the world – including Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Korea, and of course the United States and other parts of Canada. Several tour operators and bed and breakfast owners focus heavily on attracting aurora enthusiasts.

Summer visitors do sometimes get a light show. Though they don’t have a chance of seeing the actual aurora unless they’re here after the middle of August, thousands stop at the Northern Lights Centre in Watson Lake to watch a film in the domed theatre.

One of the unanswered questions about the aurora borealis is whether or not they make noise. While some scientists say that it’s impossible, others acknowledge that so many people report hearing sounds described as hissing or rustling, there must be something to it. Although it hasn’t happened often, I’ve heard them a few times. Nobody has yet recorded those sounds, though – in the Yukon, there is always a new challenge awaiting the adventurous.

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