Seeing the Northern Lights in Sweden

Posted on 16th March 2018 by

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The boreal aurora is undoubtedly a fascinating phenomenon. Many of those who engaged in deciphering the mysteries of the world sought to find out how the boreal aurora was formed, but not so many were close to the truth. Edmond Halley was the first to link the boreal aurora to the magnetic field of the Earth.

Norway, Alaska, Finland, Scandinavia, Sweden, Canada, northern Russia, Iceland and Greenland, are the destinations where you can schedule a vacation with the clear goal of seeing the boreal aurora.

The Swedish Lapland, in the extreme north-western tip of Sweden, is characterized by arctic plains, forests, mountains, glaciers, lakes and rivers. It is a remote and wild land, a favorite destination for lovers of nature and adventure for these reasons.

What is the Northern Lights?

The Northern Lights dance in the arctic sky of Sweden when the charged particles of electricity are discharged from the sun and pushed at great speed in the magnetic field of the earth by the solar winds, colliding with the gaseous particles. The shades of colors ranging from green to pink are due to different types of gas. Due to its proximity to the magnetic north, Swedish Lapland is an ideal observation point for this phenomenon.

Where and when

The Northern Lights can appear from mid-September (Kiruna) in late March across the Swedish Lapland. If you come to Sweden in winter for skiing, dog sledding or snowmobiling, there’s a good chance you can watch this extraordinary show. With a little luck you can see the Northern Lights also in Kiruna and Luleå, the last two outposts of civilization in the region.

The best point to see the Northern Lights is the Aurora Sky Station observatory in the Abisko National Park. The light show is not guaranteed, however, becausenature is unpredictable.

The observation tower includes an educational exhibition on the aurora borealis, a café and a souvenir shop. We recommend a proper clothing, carefully avoiding the tuxedo or the long dress to avoid being frozen by the polar temperature.Remember to book your visit to the observatory and winter activities well in advance, especially during high season.

Colors

The color most often seen has a typical yellowish-green tone, being produced by oxygen molecules at a height of about 96 kilometers.Red auras are rare and are produced by oxygen particles located at heights of over 320 kilometers.Nitrogen molecules produce blue or blue-purple blue boreal. Auras of yellow and purple have been observed, but they are extremely rare.

How to organize a trip to see the Northern Lights?

You can travel alone or with organized trips. If you choose one of the European destinations, you can opt for a trip independently without spending a fortune. In Northern Europe you will also find numerous agencies that organize excursions to see the show, you only have to worry about looking for flights and accommodation. Different discourse is if you want to reach Alaska, Greenland or Canada, in that case since these are remote destinations you might want to start with some organized group.

Keep in mind that the trip is not cheap!

 

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