The Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis, can last between 10-15 minutes and several hours. The Northern Lights are the most prominent between December and March, when nights are at their longest and darkest.
As kristennoelle said, the time the northern lights are visible can vary. One way to know what to expect in Alaska is to get a forecast. According to the second website below:
“The Geophysical Institute maintains a telephone aurora forecast at (907) 474-7558. Or check the Online Aurora Forecast – updated each day by 3 PM Alaska Time. Valid for that night and the following two nights, it is a service of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks Geophysical Institute.”
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