The Aurora Borealis Welcomes You
to the Lapland Magic
The Aurora BorealisThe Aurora Borealis could be a scary thing to us children.Our parents often admonished us that the Aurora could be dangerous. They told us not to stare at her because she could come and take us away. We were unsure of this, and the admonitions gave us chills along the spine. So we had to challenge fate....
The Aurora or the Northern Light has an hypnotic effect. She takes countless shapes and forms and colours. She appears during late autumn and winter nights, especially when temperatures are low and way below zero Centigrades. -----
(Photo courtesy: Allthingsarctic)
Watch these nice pictures by the Lapland photographer Martti Hagman. Click to watch Marttis beautiful Aurora Borealis pictures
The MystiqueMany people are attracyed by the mystique of the Lapland light. The Aurora is a light organ that sometimes plays her soft, mystical music. All of a sudden the light show speeds up and Aurora leaps from horizon to horizon in no time with her tails and ribbons of colour. Lapland light is something very special well worth seeing.
In olden times people didn't know much about Aurora. She was mystical. She was dangerous and ominous. It was a warning about punishment or war and pestilence. In the Sami language the Aurora is called "guovssahas" which means "the light that can be heard".
Today we know that the Aurora is caused by solar winds that emit electrons and ions. When the Aurora leaps across the dark blue-black sky it is an overwhelming sight. The Aurora is 90-150 kilometres out in space.
But even if we can explain the Aurora and the other phenomena of Lapland light, they still have an aura of mystique. The best time to experience it is between November and February.
The English photographer, Patricia Cowern, lives in Porjus in Jokkmokk in Swedish Lapland. She is dedicated to conveying the beauty and the mystique of the aurora through her camera lenses. Take pleasure in Patricia's northern light images here.
Best places to see it?It can be seen in all parts of Lapland. But if you come a long way to see it, your best choice is Finnmark (Norwegian Lapland) if you want the best odds. The city of Alta in Finnmark is even called "The City of the Aurora Borealis".
But generally speaking you'll find the best watching places in inner and central parts of Lapland in all three countries. Here the chances of cloudy nights during winter are less than at coastal areas.
(Photo courtesy: Patricia Cowern)
Outside Alta, "The City of the Northern Light", we find the Haldde mountain, with the world's first northern lights observatory on its top, 904 metres above sea level. During the first half of the previos century the observatory played an important role in the development of both geophysical and meteorological research. The observatory building has been partly renovated and is open to the public.
The picture to the left shows the Haldde mountain outside Alta with the old partly restored observatory.
Fighting the light pollutionIn Alta - "The City of the Northern Light" - they have (as of November 2008) started a procject to make it possible for tourists and locals to see the Northern light having to leave the city center. The goal of the projct is to use lights in the city in such a way that one can see the Aurora from the city center.
They want to do something about what we can call the light pollution. Will wait and see the results of this exciting project. I guess the results are important for "The City of the Northern Light".
Northern light photographyYou may want to take your own pictures of the northern light. Here are some basic Northern light photography tips that we have prepared.
Aurora Borealis ResourcesWe'll give you one Aurora Borealis source from each part of Lapland to give you more insight into the realm of Lapland light.
Here is a Finnish Lapland source about the Lapland light and the Northern Light
Read about The Lapland light and the Aurora from a Norwegian Aurora site.
And here is the Swedish Lapland Aurora borealis site