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Aurora Borealis – Norway

11 Mar

Aurora Borealis

Aurora Borealis was a continuous learning lesson until I saw it, and even after. I learned that going too close to the North Pole is not a condition to see it; the best locations are inside the Arctic Circle (called the Auroral Oval or the Auroral Zone). Aurora Borealis is visible only at night, in dark places with a clear sky (or very few clouds), and not affected by light pollution; the best period to see it is in winter when the sun is mostly absent and nights are longer. The Aurora forecasts can predict the chance to see the phenomenon just a couple of days in advance when they study the recent solar activity; the solar particles reach the earth atmosphere in almost 48 h from their departure from the sun. Nevertheless, there’s one more important condition: patience; at the beginning, I didn’t understand why it’s so popular to say ‘hunting Aurora ‘.

When I got in Tromsø, I learned from my hosts that I can see the Aurora Borealis when the solar activity is higher than 2. Although I knew how the phenomenon should look in pictures, I didn’t know what to look for into the real nature. I started to ask people and Daniel (a Spanish guy I met at Bente – one of my hosts) tried to explain to me what I was so hardly looking for: “You know, it’s like a cloud that comes and disappears. You have to wait, be patient and it will come”. I experienced patience during the preparation days. I learned why it is so common to say “hunting the Aurora ”. It has to be the perfect moment to see it. I was a hunter waiting for it with patience, a lot of research, reading and investigating all the available possibilities.

The day I’ve seen the Aurora Borealis it was: clear sky almost all the time, dark place out of the town, strong solar activity (even a storm), and quite cold after 2h of waiting in the middle of nowhere surrounded only by snow. I was looking towards the north. I was forcing my eyes to see something, but it was green only in the photos. I was anxious. I didn’t know what to look for. I knew it will come, but I was suspicious. I asked around the persons from the group if they’ve seen it. I was curious to hear if they know how the Aurora Borealis looks like in reality. After 2 hours of expectations, the Aurora started to appear slowly as a strong and powerful light coming over the mountain. It was like a cloud with a slight color of green. It was as I expected it, it was as I was told, but still a little bit different. Everything started to be like heaven: lights came over and over from everywhere. They covered the whole sky. Sometimes they changed so quickly I couldn’t see them all. Photos are just a small part of this experience; they are speechless in front of nature’s miracle. The Aurora Borealis explosion lasted, at least, one hour. It was one hour of beatitude.

That night, on Valentine’s day, I’ve seen the Aurora again and again: in Kattfjord on Kvaloya
Island, in Finnvik on the same island, and even in Tromsø like a rainbow over the houses when I came back home to Bente. The lights were moving quickly and changing every minute. They were dancing (the so-called ‘dancing Aurora‘). The rest of the days, I’ve seen just some weak stripes of Aurora Borealis over the sky when it was good weather. But that day when I froze in Kattfjord with 2 pairs of warmers in my gloves, that day will last forever. I knew how, where and when to go hunting it. Because I had patience and I waited for the perfect moment.

The key for Aurora is patience. When it’s the best moment, it will come. It’s just a matter of time.

Aurora Borealis: Kattfjord – Kvaløya Island

Aurora Borealis: Kattfjord – Kvaløya Island

Some more photos from the night when I saw the Aurora Borealis on the sky in Kattfjord.


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18 Responses to “Aurora Borealis – Norway”

  1. Carolyn April 7, 2016 at 9:49 am #

    I’ve never seen the Aurora Borealis but I’d like to. I’m not so sure I want to get cold doing it though. Interesting about the hunting for it.

    • Authentic Travels April 7, 2016 at 9:52 am #

      I would say that is a must see once in a lifetime. Words can’t describe what you feel there. I’m your go-to person if you need advice. 🙂

  2. Sarah June 12, 2016 at 1:31 pm #

    Nice pictures! Traveled to Tromsø a couple of times in the past, and it was magical <3

  3. Jurga - Full Suitcase August 15, 2016 at 11:45 am #

    Love your pictures! I went to Iceland in winter last year hoping to see the Northern Lights and I also had no idea what to expect. At first it was more of a vague cloud and indeed the green was only visible in the pictures. But then one night we got the level 4 auroras and it was the most amazing light spectacle ever. No pictures can ever do justice to the experience. It’s something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime!

    • Authentic Travels August 16, 2016 at 9:19 am #

      At the beginning, I didn’t know what to think about the Aurora. Now, the first thing I would recommend it’s patience.

  4. Cori February 6, 2017 at 4:29 pm #

    This is so cool! I saw the aurora borealis in Iceland, but it must be so much more amazing in Norway. One of these days I’ll make it further than Oslo and be able to check it out.

  5. Susanna February 7, 2017 at 1:03 pm #

    I am so glad you got to see it! I grew up in Alaska and saw them all the time growing up, but they never get old. You had good advise on how to find them and you’re quite lucky. Beautiful photos!

  6. Candy February 7, 2017 at 11:41 pm #

    This is so beautiful. We chased the Northern Lights in Iceland and the sky turned green just like your photos. Patience really is key. I love the photo of you sitting in the snow 🙂

  7. Sarah Kim February 8, 2017 at 12:10 am #

    I like hearing about your tips to see it especially from your local host about the solar activity is higher than 2. Also, I thought you would just see it but now I know to be patient. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Stella the Travelerette February 8, 2017 at 3:10 am #

    I want to see the Aurora Borealis so badly! Your photos truly make the Northern Lights look like a magic spell. And I am glad to know the best spots to see them are in the Arctic Circle. Hopefully I will have my own trip to “hunt the Aurora” soon!

  9. Katie from What's Katie Doing? Blog February 8, 2017 at 9:26 am #

    An amazing description of this phenomenon! I saw them last year in Iceland and it’s so true that patience is required! We waited and got cold and were rewarded with the dancing lights that were impossible to capture (at least on my camera!) but the experience was the most amazing thing ever!!

  10. Tara February 8, 2017 at 6:55 pm #

    How beautiful! We were lucky enough to see the Aurora Borealis well south of the Arctic Circle in New York State. It was a magical experience, but I’d love to travel north with my camera!

  11. Megan Indoe February 8, 2017 at 7:53 pm #

    This is something I really HAVE to do. I wanted to go this year as we read something saying that the northern lights were going to be the most vivid and bright this year and not like this again for another decade. I suppose we will have to wait another decade since we aren’t going to make it this year and I want to see them at their best! I had no idea you had to wait for them to show up, glad they gave you some great photos and an unforgettable experience.

  12. Shane February 8, 2017 at 11:19 pm #

    Wow you have a knack for stunning night photography! My dream is to experience this one day soon!

  13. Sandy N Vyjay February 9, 2017 at 5:28 am #

    I let out a gasp after I saw those photographs. My speech is impaired as my eyes are transfixed on that beauty. I always had an attraction for the northern lights and every time I see it I am intimidated by it’s beauty. Hunting Aurora is sure to be on my list!

  14. Gina February 9, 2017 at 10:17 am #

    You were so lucky you got to see the sites from a clear night. The photo of you in the snow makes it look like you had a great time. The best advice I’ve gotten was definitely patience and two pairs of gloves when waiting to see it.

  15. Marie November 2, 2017 at 10:23 am #

    You’re really lucky to see the light in such a great way!! I wasn’t so lucky when I visited.

    • Iuliana November 7, 2017 at 7:54 pm #

      I stayed in Tromso for two weeks and hunted the Aurora when the forecast was good.

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