Image credits: Antti Pietikainen & Matt Robinson
Guiding you to the Northern Lights
When it comes to hunting for the Aurora, in our experience we have seen that you need to combine a little bit of science, local knowledge, some luck and a lot of commitment!
We do everything we can to improve your chances on our Aurora Zone trips; putting you in a remote location, taking you away from artificial light and ensuring that there are knowledgeable and experienced guides on hand to maximise your chances.
Aurora hunting does require some dedication though – you need to keep a close watch on the sky and stay up late (Auroras are at their most active from 10 pm onwards) and also be aware that the situation can change quickly. Some nights it can look like the thick cloud that is covering the sky is not going to budge, but there may just be a break in the cloud through which the Northern Lights can appear.
About Aurora Alerts
An Aurora hunting aid
With the Northern Lights being a natural phenomenon they can never be predicted or guaranteed so you always need to have a bit of luck on your side too.
As a tool to aid your hard work a lot of our accommodation options use Aurora alerts and they are becoming increasingly popular as an Aurora hunting device.
They vary between accommodations but generally consist of a mobile phone which receives a text message should the Northern Lights be spotted. When you do get a text it is of course time to put your warm clothes on and head outdoors to keep a watch on the sky.
How are they are used?
At our accommodation options in Nellim and Muotka as well as Jeris and Harriniva mobile phones are issued and used as Aurora alerts. The staff at these locations will keep watch on the sky and issue a text should the Aurora be sighted.
In Luosto, where some of our more leisurely trips are based, mobile phones are also used and the staff will also keep watch. They take full advantage of the nearby Sodankyla Geophysical Observatory which alerts the hotel when an Aurora is possible and, if conditions are favourable in Luosto, the alert will be sent to guests.
Whilst our local staff and guides will of course make every effort to alert you to a potential Aurora should the solar activity and weather conditions look like they are in your favour, we would advise you to never rely solely on these devices and be sure to keep a close watch on the sky. The conditions change very quickly and the alerts are only operational until a certain time (please confirm with your hotel, exactly when this is on arrival).
Some of the best advice we can give is to befriend those in your group and use teamwork to help you enjoy a successful Aurora viewing by taking it in turns to keep watch and being sure to wake up your newfound friends should the lights be spotted. Happy hunting!