Into the Arctic Skies: Aurora and Astronomy in Churchill

Come for the chance to fulfill a dream and witness the northern lights beneath the brilliant skies of Churchill, Manitoba.
Rating (4.87)
Program No. 7931RJ
9 days
Starts at

At a Glance

The clear skies of Churchill’s winter will thrill and challenge any sky watcher. With over 300 nights of auroral activity, Churchill is the best spot on the planet to view the northern lights. Our instructor, “Starman,” will lead you through the fascinating world of comets, deep sky objects, meteors and northern lights. Visit the Manitoba Museum in Winnipeg for an in-depth study of the region’s natural history and an introduction to the vast subarctic region of Northern Manitoba.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Activities may include dog sledding, snowmobiling and walking, dependent on weather.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Discover the world of comets, deep sky objects, meteors and northern lights in the planet’s top viewing spot.
  • Spend an afternoon dog sledding in the boreal forest.
  • Take an exhilarating ride by snowmobile into the boreal forest and experience snowshoeing.

General Notes

Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available. This program stays in unique accommodations. Be sure to review the lodging description for the Churchill Northern Studies Centre. If you enroll in a Single room, it is only available for the two hotels in Winnipeg but not in Churchill.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Alan Dyer
Alan Dyer is a writer and producer of planetarium programs for the TELUS Spark Science Centre in Calgary. He is one of Canada's best-known astronomy writers and serves as associate editor of SkyNews magazine, Canada's magazine of stargazing. Alan also takes the opportunity as often as possible to visit the southern hemisphere to pursue both interests under southern skies. His other obsession, eclipse chasing, has taken him to every continent, chalking up 15 total solar eclipses. Asteroid 78434 is named for him.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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David Hems
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Alan Dyer
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Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Northern Lights, A Practical Travel Guide
by Polly Evans
With helpful advice on viewing the Northern Lights in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Greenland, Canada and Alaska, this Bradt guide has essential information on forecasts, the science behind the lights, photography and how to dress.
Ancient People of the Arctic
by Robert McGhee
In this nicely illustrated overview of the Paleo-Eskimos, Robert McGhee, an archaeologist, brings vibrantly to life North America's first settlers and their culture.
Arctic Dreams
by Barry Lopez
A dazzling meditation on the Arctic, breathtaking in scope. Lopez draws on his travels throughout the North, including Baffin Island, the Chukchi and Bering seas, Alaska, the Yukon and Greenland, interweaving natural history, accounts of early exploration, anecdote and lore into an indelible portrait of place.
Northern Lights
by Calvin Hall (Photographer), Daryl Pederson (Photographer), George Bryson
These color photographs capture the dazzling majesty and mystery of the aurora borealis while journalist George Bryson provides a short essay on the history of the phenomenon.
The Arctic Guide, Wildlife of the Far North
by Sharon Chester
Written for travelers and naturalists alike, this comprehensive guide to the flora and fauna of the Arctic covers 800 species. Each profile features color illustrations, range maps and full descriptions.
Auroras, Fire in the Sky
by Dan Bortolotti, Yuichi Takasaka (Photographer)
These 80 color photos by Yuichi Takasaka celebrate the beauty, history, folklore and science of the northern lights.
What We Know About Climate Change
by Kerry Emanuel
MIT atmospheric scientist Emanuel outlines the issues, causes and concerns about the fate of our climate. This second edition covers the latest from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the lack of will in the United States to tackle this vexing issue.
Never Look a Polar Bear in the Eye
by Zac Unger
A captivating look at the battle between man and nature from the vantage point of Churchill, Manitoba, the Polar Bear Capital of the World.
The Northern Lights, Celestial Performances of the Aurora Borealis
by Calvin Hall (Photographer), Daryl Pederson (Photographer)
Shot in Alaska, one of the best places to watch the northern lights, these images capture the natural phenomenon in all its splendor and majesty. Hall and Pederson’s 160 photographs were taken with ultra-HD cameras during a period of unusually high solar activity.
A Naturalist's Guide to the Arctic
by E.C. Pielou
Our bestselling book on the Arctic, this guide covers the geography and climate, plants, birds and wildlife of the Circumpolar North.
The Northern Lights, The True Story of the Man Who Unlocked the Secrets of the Aurora Borealis
by Lucy Jago
The compelling story of Kristian Birkeland, the turn-of-the-century Norwegian scientist who devoted his career to understanding the aurora borealis, this book also covers the science, history, myth and romance of the phenomenon.
Our Ice Is Vanishing / Sikuvut Nunguliqtuq: A History of Inuit, Newcomers and Climate Change
by Shelley Wright
Wright charts the history of the Inuit and the experiences of recent Arctic immigrants alongside reflections on current conditions and devastating climate change.

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