Dawn's Northern Lights blog posts

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.

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Ben Murg

If you were lucky enough to enjoy one of our Northern Lights holidays to Muotka or Nellim this winter you will be familiar with our representative Ben. We caught up with Ben and here’s what he had to say.

How many times did you see the Northern Lights this winter?

Too many times to count. Every show is different which is what makes it so unique and special. For me, the times when I enjoy them the most is when I can see the different colours and the incredible movement. When it's like that it can't fail to send shivers down your spine.

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Credit: Marrku Inkila

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." 

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

Katrina Seator

This winter Katrina Seator has been working as our representative in Finland, looking after our Aurora Zone clients who were staying in Harriniva and Torassieppi. As this season draws to a close we asked Katrina to tell us about some of her favourite experiences of the season and for any top tips for our future travellers.

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Amy Hope

Dog Sledding and the Northern Lights in Greenland

As Product and Operations Manager here at the Aurora Zone, I have been a regular visitor to the more northerly and remote corners of Finland, Iceland, Sweden and Norway for many years. At first, the thought of travelling to places that lie north of the Arctic Circle was somewhat daunting but with growing experience it is something with which I have grown very comfortable and I occasionally found myself digging around for evermore remote places to visit.

Ali Mclean

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?

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

Ali Mclean

I love my job because it takes me to my favourite part of the world, Northern Scandinavia on a regular basis.

I’ve been to Norway, Finland, Sweden and Iceland on numerous occasions and at many different times of year. 

I love the autumn colours and the mind-fuddling 24 hour daylight midnight sun of the summer months. I love the heart of winter when the days are short and the grey/blue light of the Polar nights predominates. I love early January when the sun reappears above the horizon and bathes the snowy white landscapes in a pink glow.

Most of all however, I love early spring and whilst I travel to Scandinavia on business at any time of year, I always holiday there in middle to late March.

Ali Mclean

Cloud cover is the Aurora chaser’s worst enemy.

If the sky is cloudy you won’t see the Northern Lights, simple as that. However, this is also one of the reasons that Abisko in Swedish Lapland is one of the very best places in the world to see the Aurora Borealis.

In terms of topography and meteorology, Abisko is blessed by a happy combination of favourable winds and cloud-dispersing mountains which work in tandem to create some of Northern Scandinavia’s most cloud-free skies.

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I work for a Tour Operator called The Aurora Zone and one of the best aspects of my job is searching for the Northern Lights.

Katrina Seator

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Katrina- Aurora Zone rep

Here at The Aurora Zone, we know how important it is to have someone on hand to answer any questions or queries you may have during your holiday. For this Northern Lights season, the lovely Katrina has been our rep in the resorts of Harriniva and Jeris in Finnish Lapland. So we thought we’d catch up with her to find out how her first winter in the Arctic went.

Ali Mclean

Summer is a difficult time for the dedicated Aurora hunter. It’s lovely to enjoy a bit of sunshine and the long daylight hours but in Northern Scandinavia those daylight hours can be just a bit too long.

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Autumn Light at Nellim. Image credit: Markku Inkila

Ali Mclean

Late last summer we speculated as to whether the 2014/15 Northern Lights season could match those of the previous two years which had delivered some unforgettable displays.

In June 2014, NASA confirmed that the Sun had reached the peak of its current solar cycle and, rather excitingly, geophysical research suggested that the declining period of a solar cycle often coincides with significant solar events. There's nothing that gets an Aurora hunter more excited than increased solar activity so we thought we would ask a couple of the best in the business to review the season so far. It seems that it has more than lived up to expectations.

Markku Inkila lives near Ivalo in North East Finland and is, without any doubt, one of Scandinavia's most knowledgeable and enthusiastic Northern Lights guides. We asked him to sum up the season using his own words and a couple of images:

This autumn was crazy, 12 nights straight and we saw the Northern Lights every night. During the winter we have seen lights every clear night and that is awesome! There has been lots of talk about solar maximum that was supposed to be last year and the year before, but the thing is that we are in the middle of the "aurora zone" so it doesn't matter what year it is, we see them nearly every day when it's clear sky.

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The Aurora Zone was born out of our love of all things wintery. We were already regular visitors to the likes of Norway, Finland, Sweden and Iceland thanks to a fascination with winter activities such as dog sledding, snowmobiling and the Scandinavian way of life. Many of our visits coincided with sightings of the Northern Lights and The Aurora Zone was born from a desire to share Mother Nature’s greatest wonder with as many people as possible. We have all been held in the Aurora’s thrall and our mission is to do our very best to ensure that our clients can experience that magical moment on their Northern Lights holiday.

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