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Clear skies mean more chances to see Alaska's northern lights

The Aurora Borealis peeks its head over the mountains near Girdwood, Alaska on Feb 2, 2014.
Loren Holmes photo
The northern lights dance above Tok, Alaska on Sept 13, 2013.
Loren Holmes photo
Northern Lights dance above Fairbanks, Alaska during 2013.
Courtesy Marketa Murray
Northern Lights dance above Fairbanks, Alaska during 2013.
Courtesy Marketa Murray
Northern Lights dance above Fairbanks, Alaska during 2013.
Courtesy Marketa Murray
Northern Lights dance above Fairbanks, Alaska during 2013.
Courtesy Marketa Murray
Northern Lights dance above Fairbanks, Alaska during 2013.
Courtesy Marketa Murray
Northern Lights dance above Fairbanks, Alaska during 2013.
Courtesy Marketa Murray
Northern Lights dance above Fairbanks, Alaska during 2013.
Courtesy Marketa Murray
Northern Lights dance above Fairbanks, Alaska during 2013.
Courtesy Marketa Murray
Northern Lights dance above Fairbanks, Alaska during 2013.
Courtesy Marketa Murray
Northern Lights dance above Fairbanks, Alaska during 2013.
Courtesy Marketa Murray
Northern Lights dance above Fairbanks, Alaska during 2013.
Courtesy Marketa Murray
Northern Lights dance above Fairbanks, Alaska during 2013.
Courtesy Marketa Murray
Northern Lights dance above Fairbanks, Alaska during 2013.
Courtesy Marketa Murray
Northern Lights dance above Fairbanks, Alaska during 2013.
Courtesy Marketa Murray
Northern Lights dance above Fairbanks, Alaska during 2013.
Courtesy Marketa Murray
Northern Lights dance above Fairbanks, Alaska during 2013.
Courtesy Marketa Murray
Alaska Dispatch

Photographing Alaska's aurora borealis may seem daunting, but it's a fun, family-friendly activity that also encourages everyone to get outdoors.

The most common considerations to keep in mind include location, forecast watching, camera handling, speed settings and exposure times. Read more in our handy explainer on How to Photograph the Northern Lights.

When setting your camera exposure time to seconds, keep in mind that oftentimes fractional seconds are indicated with the " sign and full seconds have no corresponding punctuation. So a 15th of a second will appear as 15", and 15 seconds will appear as 15.

Here's a list of other common mistakes to avoid.