Be dazzled by the Northern Lights
Experience the true wonder of the Aurora Borealis as it illuminates the skies of Northern Norway. This dazzling spectacle draws thousands of tourists to the Arctic Circle every year, to see dancing displays of green, blue, pink and violet above. The colours and magnitude of this natural sky show are literally out of this world. It’s an experience that will stay with you forever.
What Causes the Northern Lights?
The more curious among you will probably want a more in-depth explanation as to what causes the northern lights.
It'sa natural phenomenon that has perplexed us for centuries; after all, the northern lights are a constant in our world. Even the dinosaurs experienced them! For hundreds of years, our ancestors were fearful of the aurora borealis because they did not understand why the skies above them suddenly erupted into light shows. They attributed the behaviour of the night sky to mystical stories of gods and monsters and worshipped the lights in trepidation.
Today, we know that gods and monsters have nothing to do with it. For some of you, that will come as a disappointment. But we all know that it’s down to the science. Electrically charged particles called solar wind are produced by the sun. As the earth travels around the sun, a small percentage of these particles are interrupted by its orbit. At this point, the particles enter into the earth’s magnetic field at a very high speed, between 300 and 500 km per second. The particles meet the atoms in earth’s atmosphere, creating a geomagnetic storm. This means that the electrons within the atoms move to a higher-energy state for a while. When the electrons revert back to a lower energy state, they release light. It’s here where the aurora borealis process can be visually sighted in the sky.
What do the Northern Lights Look Like?
Now, let’s set some expectations here. The aurora doesn’t just appear as soon as nighttime rolls around. The brilliant colours in the sky can take a while to show, and that's if they show at all!
Go see one of the world's most awe-inspiring natural wonders - the Northern Lights
To start with, you’re likely to spot a rainbow-like arc which will gradually make its way across the sky. This rainbow-arc will probably be more of an off-white colour and look like a cloud. However, keep your eyes peeled because it is no ordinary cloud. Its movement will oscillate, and that cloud can soon turn into the most amazing light show you will ever see!
Are you a keen photographer? That’s great! There will never be a better time to experiment with prolonged exposure and shutter speed. While watching the aurora borealis with the naked eye is undoubtedely unique, capturing the flashing lights through a lens is a mind-blowing experience. Why? Well, your camera will enable you to obtain several moments at once, meaning that your photographs will show an explosion of beautiful colour! If you’re not so good with a camera, join a photo tour with Go Fjords to make a difference.
Did you know...?
The aurora borealis has a cousin! In the Southern Hemisphere, the aurora australis happens. This is more commonly known as the southern lights and can be seen in places that are closer to the Antarctic Circle.
What’s the best time to see northern lights in Norway?
Ok, so we’re guessing that you want to see this fantastic array of colour for yourself? The northern lights don’t occur in one particular season. They happen all year round, but we just can’t always see them during the lighter summer months. This means that most people recommend visiting Norway between September and March. This is said to be the optimum time for viewing the northern lights as these months bring with them the polar night, meaning that the number of daylight hours is shorter.
What you must understand before you start planning an epic aurora hunt, is that you’re not guaranteed to see the lights regardless of when you go. The weather and movement of the solar system can have a considerable impact. Don’t worry, there are a few things you can do to make sure you tick it off your bucket list.
First of all, don’t stay too far south. Oslo, Bergen and Stavanger are not northern enough to see the lights. However, if you plan in advance, you can take a short flight to Tromso, which is better placed. Only after you have explored Oslo
Secondly, book a northern lights tour here
Where are the best places to see the Northern Lights?
Northern Norway is said to be the very best place in the world for seeing the aurora borealis. It has plenty more to offer too, from activities such as dog-sledging and ice fishing to majestic wildlife such as polar bears and whales! So which places, in particular, should you consider going?
It’s Northern Norway’s biggest city, so it comes as no surprise that it offers a broad range of northern light tours. From northern light boat cruises to guided hikes, there’s plenty of opportunities for fun. The nearby Lyngen Alps is thought to shield the area from the bad weather brought in by the sea, increasing visibility. On the other hand, a city of this size increases the chances of light pollution, so you’re likely to have to venture away from the city centre to fully appreciate the northern lights. Still, Tromsø
How to get there
You can fly to Tromsø from Oslo which takes just over 2 hours. If you’re visiting Norway for a longer period of time, it is possible to take the Hurtigruten coastal steamer from Bergen.
Sommarøy - the Arctic Paradise Island
Situated under the auroral oval, Sommarøy is well situated when it comes to getting a glimpse of the best light show in the world! Landscapes don’t get more wild and beautiful than this place, which is why it attracts so many lovers of the Great Outdoors.
How to get there
You can fly directly to Tromsø