Our Northern Lights Blog
There are various theories flying around online suggesting that the Aurora Borealis is going to disappear as the current cycle (Solar Cycle 24) enters its declining stage to 'Solar Minimum'.
Such theories are frustrating because, as our Managing Director Ali McLean will tell you, the inspiration for The Aurora Zone was born on two consecutive nights in 2008 when we were at the lowest point of Solar Cycle 23.
It has been said that as we reach the 'Solar Minimum' stage of Solar Cycle 24, the Northern Lights will disappear from view.
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.
Have you been watching Professor Brian Cox’s brilliant ‘Forces of Nature’ series featured on BBC One? This week’s stunning final episode focused on the science behind the colours of our planet.
Brian travelled around the globe experiencing phenomena such as the gentle beauty of a moon bow in Iceland, to the transformation of the sun-drenched Serengeti.
Finally, he landed in Northern Norway to uncover our favourite of all nature’s marvels – the spectacular Northern Lights.
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.
Travelling to the Arctic not only takes you into Aurora territory, but it takes you into vast tracts of pristine wilderness where stunning views become almost commonplace.
In the Arctic there is nothing bleak about the winter environment. Wildlife abounds, and you will certainly develop respect for your surroundings and individuals who have made it their home over the centuries and even in modern times have an admirable relationship with the nature around them.
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.
Credit: Marrku Inkila
Tell us about your Northern Lights experiences.
I’ve never experienced anything quite as extraordinary as the Northern Lights. There is sometimes a sense beforehand that they’ve been talked up so much that in reality they are never quite going to be able to live up to expectations. I was one of those who held this slightly cynical view but I really couldn't have been more wrong. In whatever capacity the Northern Lights are out it’s a magical experience. Whether it’s as a tiny green smudge in the sky only dimly seen over the street lights, to the 4am Aurora wakeup call that had me sprinting outside in a duvet and slippers to the sight of a red and green light corona taking up the whole sky.
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."
(Image taken 17/03/16 by Antti Pietikainen)
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.