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Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis: best places and time to see it in Finland, Lapland
Do you have a dream to see the Northern Lights? Would you like to make your own photo with Aurora Borealis? Or maybe you have seen a lot of videos and pictures with Auroras and can't believe it can be truth and real nature phenomenon, not PhotoShop effects? :-)
Northern Lights is easier to see than you can imagine! To see charming flashes of the Northern Lights with own eyes - an exciting experience to remember for a lifetime.
BEST PLACES IN FINLAND TO SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS (AURORA BOREALIS)
Finland is perfect place on the planet to observe the Aurora Borealis (Northern or Polar Lights). Aurora hunters come here from all over the world.
Lapland or Northern Finland above the Arctic Circle is the best place to see the Northern Lights.
There are 2 things that harm to see the Aurora Borealis: cloud and city illumination (light pollution).
Lapland is the best place for Aurora hunters. This area is underpopulated, cities and villages are small and it is very easy to find places without artificial light to help you see the best Northern Lights displays.
Remember one of the main Aurora rule: it is best seen from outside the city!
Getting ready for Northern light performance find a place a couple of kilometers from the village with an open sky perspective to the north.
Yllas ski resort in Finland is considered to be the center of the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). All street illumination here is switched off during the Northern Lights, so that tourists can better enjoy the natural view.
Other nice places in Finland where Northern lights can be seen: Rovaniemi area, Pyha-Luosto ski resort and National park, Saariselka ski-resort, Levi ski-resort, Ivalo and Inari area, Kemijarvi area and many other wildness areas above the Arctic Circle in Finland.
By the way, the photos of Aurora Borealis often looks much brighter than it actually is. Make slower shutter speed on your camera and you will be impressed with the result.
BEST TIME TO SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS (AURORA BOREALIS)
Best time to see the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) is in late autumn (late September), during all winter or early spring (till the end of March).
Actually the Aurora appears on the sky all year around but it can only be seen during the darker months of the year.
On average the Northern Lights can be seen in the sky about 200 times a year if the sky is cloudless and preferably moonless. The main difficulty is that nobody can guarantee cloud-free skies. It is hard to predict Lights arrival with any accuracy more than two hours beforehand. But there are a lot of Aurora Alerts and Observation web-sites which helps a lot.
If the news and local weather forecast warn meteodependent people about magnetic storms and solar flares, it is a sure sign that this evening you might see a colourful Aurora. The variety of polar lights colors depends on the power of the sun flash and its flow direction towards the Earth.
HOW TO FIND NORTHERN LIGHTS (AURORA BOREALIS)
Plan your trip to the North of Finland. In Lapland (Rovaniemi, Kemijarvi, Sodankyla, Ivalo, Inari, Kittila, Kolari, Ranua) Aurora appears on the cloudless night from September to March. In southern Finland Aurora Borealis can also be seen, but it is very rare and usually very few people notice it due to light pollution of cities.
Look at the sky and the stars. If the sky is clear, dark and starry - you're more likely to see the Northern Lights.
Go out of the house and better out of the village and city. Cosy warm living room with fireplace and a cup of hot tea is very nice, but see the Aurora from indoors is quite difficult (unless you are staying at glass igloo). The more time you spend outside at night, the more chances you have to see Aurora displays. Magic Lights appear suddenly and unexpectedly, and just as quickly can disappear.
Use right warm clothing. Clear sky winter nights can be very chilly. The purer sky, the colder it is outside and more likely to see Lights.
Darkness is the best friend of Aurora Borealis hunters. The farther away from the lights of city, the better. Optimal observation point for the Aurora - the top of the hills, the shores of lakes (place with a sky overview).
The best time to observe Polar Lights - from 22.00 to 3.00. Usually at this time Aurora appears on the sky.
Northern Lights notification can help you a lot. Sign up for aurora alerts. Nowadays there are a lot of applications for smartphones, web-sites with e-mail alerts sent whenever magnetic conditions in the skies over Finland make auroral displays possible.
Our choice and reliable assistant: Real-time information about the geomagnetic disturbances provided by Sodankyla Geophysical Observatory Magnetogram. Here you will find real time images from web-cameras reflecting the situation on the sky online. If Aurora is there, it can be seen immediately on the camera and you can go out and look at the sky. On the charts you can see disturbances in Earth's magnetic field. If the values of the curve begins to grow up or down more than 100-300 points, then it is a good sign that it is time to go out and look for the most ideal place to observe the night sky performance.
AURORA BOREALIS VIDEO
UNFORGETTABLE NIGHT UNDER THE STARS
Traditional ways to go Aurora spotting are hiking outside, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or snowmobile touring to the wildness. If you do not like an idea of walking outside stared into the dark sky in crispy winter air, you can add a little comfort to this activity.
In Finland Aurora Borealis light show can be seen in a range of purpose-built Aurora-friendly spaces like glass igloos in Lapland.
A new way to experience Northern Lights in Lapland in Aurora Bubble!
Each Aurora Bubble has comfortable queen-size bed, a heater and a private bathroom with a sophisticated composting toilet. You can fall asleep looking up at the star-lit sky from cozy bed. If lucky, you can see the Northern Lights from the comfort of the bed.
Igloo cottage is located in Ranua, 2 km from Ranua Wildlife Park and Polar Zoo.
This Igloo is Deluxe Suite type: with sauna, log-wood furniture and stone fireplace, TV, tea/coffee facilities and a mosaic-tiled shower. There is bedroom with 1 large double bed, living room with 1 sofa bed.
Thanks to the thick glass walls and roof, you can enjoy views of the lake and garden, or the Northern Lights if you are lucky.
Glass Igloo, or bubble, or see-through villa - unique accommodation for 2 persons at Nellimö village.
An array of activities can be enjoyed in the surroundings, including skiing, fishing and canoeing.
Igloos are 24 km from Tsarmitunturi Wilderness Area. Ivalo Airport is 51 km away.
IGLOO ACCOMMODATION ON MAP:
TIPS FOR AURORA BOREALIS PHOTO-HUNTERS
If your goal is to make beautiful pictures with Northern Lights, you need an appropriate camera and some accessories as well as a certain number of sporting spirit, patience and perseverance.
Do not waste your time trying to make a shot with cheap pocket camera! The result will disappoint you greatly.
The best choice is camera with removable optics and manually selected exposure speed. Good choice is a wide angle lens with focal length from 8 mm to 35 mm.
Exposure times for Northern lights photos usually vary between 10 and 30 seconds. A longer exposure time does not make sense, because the stars in this case will not look as dots.
Tripod is necessary to hold the camera in one position. So do not forget this important tool for Aurora shooting.
Each aurora borealis is unique. This means that every image that you make, will also be unique and one of a kind. GOOD LUCK!