Ali's Northern Lights blog posts

Ali Mclean

It has been said that as we reach the 'Solar Minimum' stage of Solar Cycle 24, the Northern Lights will disappear from view.

DSC03126 13 2

For us to reassure you as to why this won’t happen we have to take a look at the science behind the magnificent Aurora Borealis.


Ali Mclean

Every September we seem to write the same thing……..

”What a great start to the Aurora hunting season!”……..

and this year has proved to be no exception.

 DSC03164 4 resize


Ali Mclean

APRIL FOOL!

Thankfully the Northern Lights are not flicked on with a switch and Finland won’t be privatising this natural phenomenon anytime soon!

To find out how the Northern Lights really appear click here!

DSC01078 2

 

Vote for us


Ali Mclean

If you receive our newsletter you may recall that we recently highlighted that the Northern Lights occur more frequently in especially around the spring and autumn equinoxes.

The essence of the article was as follows:

“One strange side effect of the equinox is a dramatically increased likelihood of auroras………….

NASA data shows that geomagnetic disturbances are twice as likely to occur around the equinoxes (March-April), (September-October) than around the solstices. Why? The answer is likely the same reason for the season: axial tilt." 

DSC01078 2

(Image taken 17/03/16 by Antti Pietikainen)


Ali Mclean

Three Alternatives to the IceHotel

Written by Ali Mclean
Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Three Alternatives to the IceHotel

“a heady mix of sublime beauty and exquisite disappointment.”

If you watched Alexander Armstrong’s Land of the Midnight Sun on ITV this week you’ll have doubtless been awestruck by the sheer beauty of the IceHotel in Sweden’s Jukkasjärvi. Armstrong was rightly smitten with the IceHotel’s breathtaking interior areas and marvelled at the skilled craftsmanship of the ice and snow artisans who gather every October to create this annual monument to ice and snow architecture.

What the program didn’t reveal was that the affable presenter expresses far more mixed sentiments in the book “Land of the Midnight Sun” which accompanies the series. Yes he agrees, the IceHotel is astonishing but, he wasn’t as enthusiastic about what he perceived as an over-commercialisation of the project. Having expected “the pinnacle of refined luxury” he instead encounters “a huge complex that feels like something between a shopping centre and one of those “Christmas Wonderlands” that pop up in the Home Counties in the run up to Christmas each year”


Ali Mclean

Scary Northern Lights Myths and Legends

Written by Ali Mclean
Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Our forefathers believed that the Northern Lights were anything from spirits of the departed to vanquished warriors to the gods themselves.

Some saw the lights as a portent of good, guests travelling to a celestial wedding for example but, in the main, the lights were generally associated with something more malevolent.

We’ve been looking through our vast library of images to illustrate just why our ancestors held the Aurora in such reverence. Here are a few examples.

A Very Angry God?

scary1

That is one very, very frightening face reflected in the mirror like waters of the Paatsjoki River in Northern Finland.


Ali Mclean

Okay, first and foremost, we should perhaps rename this as “The Ten Coolest Places Where You are Unlikely to Sleep Beneath the Northern Lights” because it’s a pretty unusual person who can get to sleep while the Aurora is dancing across the night sky.

Burgeoning interest in the Northern Lights over the last few years has led to the creation of ever more innovative places from which to watch the spectacle.

From bubbles and domes to cabins and camps, here, in no particular order, are our Top Ten Cool Places to Sleep (possibly) Beneath the Northern Lights. 


Ali Mclean

Reflections of autumn

Written by Ali Mclean
Friday, 04 September 2015

Given the nature of my work I regularly travel to the destinations featured here at The Aurora Zone and, as a result, I get to know the countries very well and also its inhabitants. I most frequently visit Northern Scandinavia and whenever I meet a Finn, a Swede or a Norwegian for the first time I always ask the same question:

“Where is your cabin?”

Almost without exception, Scandinavians own a cabin, a cabin with no running water, no electricity but a cabin which almost invariably enjoys an enviable lakeside position. These cabins are where the good people of Finland, Sweden and Norway escape to immerse themselves in nature, to relax and to just generally have a pretty laid back time.
A few years ago, one of our Finnish suppliers invited me to come over and spend a few days at his remote lakeside cabin. He could get some time away from work in late-October and simply wanted to enjoy some downtime before the busy winter months.

Harriniva aurora borealis 2


Ali Mclean

The Northern Lights – An otherworldly experience
Way back in 1958, an absolutely massive solar flare resulted in the Northern Lights being visible as far south as Mexico City. By all accounts, the emergency services were inundated with panicky calls from residents who thought the dancing lights in the sky heralded an extraterrestrial invasion!!

You have to see the Northern Lights up close and personal to understand why the good people of Mexico City reacted in the way they did.

Stand on a frozen Arctic lake and watch curtains of ethereal light shimmering and billowing overhead. It soon becomes apparent why Stone Age or Iron Age man might have believed Mother Nature's hypnotic light show to be the spirits of the departed or celestial warriors engaged in combat of the immortals.

max1


Ali Mclean

Green is the Colour.....or not!

Written by Ali Mclean
Tuesday, 17 March 2015

How appropriate that on St Patrick's Day, a huge geomagnetic storm should set the Aurora Borealis dancing across the skies from North America to Northern Scandinavia.

Due to the altitude with which solar particles collide with our atmosphere, the Aurora is usually predominantly green which seems to hit exactly the right St Patrick's Day notes. However, because of the sheer ferocity of the geomagnetic storm raging above our head, today's Auroras are likely to be multi-coloured with yellows, reds, pinks and blues as much to the fore as the more "traditional" green.


Page 3 of 5

Get an expert opinion

The Aurora Zone was born from a desire to share Mother Nature’s greatest wonder with our clients. We’ve explored the destinations, researched the science, and fallen in love with the Scandinavian way of life. It’s our mission to pass this knowledge on to you, providing you with the very best chance of experiencing the magic for yourself on your Northern Lights holiday.

  • Specialist

    Aurora knowledge and experience

    Unique holidays, in the very best destinations

    Expert guides – exceptional local knowledge

    Advice and guidance every step of the way

  • Comprehensive

    We include more in our holidays than any other Aurora operator

    Price Comparison guarantee

    No ‘from’ prices, everything you see is included in the price

    No hidden extras

  • Independent

    Proudly Independent

    The original and still the only dedicated UK Northern Lights tour operator

    Personal, hands-on service

    Fair and sustainable work ethos

  • Trusted

    100% ATOL and ABTA protection

    Peace of mind promise

    Award-winning

    Responsible relationships

    Over 16 years’ experience

We use cookies to help us provide a better service for you. By continuing to use this site you agree to the use of cookies. Click here for more information