Iceland, Finland, Northern Lights ….
‘”The Lights are there! I know it ”
( at least that was what the Aurora forecast website aurora.fmi.fi said that within the next hour, you get a high chance with a red colour alert! See chart below:
If you are willing to pay a small price, you could even get an Aurora sms alert message sent to you whenever there is a good chance of sightings. (See http://www.aurora-service.eu/aurora-alerts/ ) At least, you don’t have to stay awake through the dark nights but wake up only if there is a high chance of Northern Lights in your area.
Spotting the stars
I did not subscribe to the alert service but just leave my laptop on, and whenever I need to wake up to go to the toilet, I will just take a peep at the colours displaying at that time. From my own experience, roughly during that time period I was in Finland 28 October to 12 Nov, there were just a few times but then I looked at the sky and there were no stars, an indication I won’t be able to see anyway unless I go outdoors in search of clear skies in a vehicle (which I don’t have as a temporary tourist ).
But, the sky was overcast, cloudy…
No stars were visible. I heard you need to have clear, dark sky to be able to see the Northern Lights with your camera and hopefully your naked eyes.
I wasn’t exactly in that situation. Plus, I was unwilling to pay an expensive Aurora Chase tour led by experts.
Preparing to spot the Aurora
An e.g. in Levi, Lapland when I was there at a ski opening week event where various activities were presented ( see www.levi.fi ), one Aurora Safari snowmobile tour from 95 euros/person (2 people per snowmobile), a special (photography expert included) 3 hour Aurora Chase night tour cost 150 euros per person. They will bring you in a van to where Aurora is likely to appear and skills are on hand to guide you and help you capture the Northern Lights if they appear.
There were other cheaper tours such as Northern lights picnic at lake Sirkkajärvi which costs 55 euros but again no aurora can be guaranteed although it is a more suitable area to view Aurora in a dark area at a forest and nature.
I guess even if no aurora is seen, the excitement of possible Aurora sightings, nature and good company with hot berry juice, etc is enough to guarantee a good time with the tour.
Never mind no Aurora sightings, watch for other natural phenomenon instead :
I got beautiful, colourful sky scenery instead; halo, rainbow, gorgeous sunrise, sunset.
Check out other northern lights spotting places like Yukon in Canada