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Murmansk, Kola Peninsula, Russia

The Kola Peninsula is known for cloudy skies, but if you happen to catch a clear night in a prime viewing month, you just might see a light show.

Yevgen Timashov/E+/Getty Images

Russian winters are not, perhaps, the ideal vacation climate, but if you're in town for the aurora, you might just brave it happily.

The city of Murmansk, at the northern tip of Russia's Kola Peninsula, sits north of the Arctic Circle [source: BuroMoscow]. At this latitude, days are nearly always dark, and auroras are relatively common sights. In prime viewing months, in fact -- February, March, September and October -- if the sky is clear, the lights can almost be counted on, and they may last for days at a time [source: Gonzalez].

The downside? Rain and snow are common here so that clear sky isn't guaranteed [source: BuroMoscow].

Now, before we leave the borealis zone, a stop in Greenland ...

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