Best Way To See The Aurora Borealis In Norway

With its northerly latitudes enveloped by long, dark winters, Norway offers prime auroral oval positioning under pristine arctic skies to showcase spellbinding displays of the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. Here’s how to best see this dazzling phenomenon during your Norway trip.

Aurora Borealis

Northern Norway Offers Prime Aurora Viewing

Areas lining the Arctic Circle through northern Norwegian towns like Tromsø, Alta, and Narvik bask nightly in complete winter darkness. This tantalizing blackness combined with limited light pollution fuels vibrant Northern Lights sightings from late September through late March.

Statistics show Tromsø enjoys over 200 Aurora sightings yearly, with December to February touting up to 31 sightings monthly when solar activity peaks. Alta and Narvik also average 150-180 sightings, presenting near-daily opportunities to catch the celestial show during the prime viewing months.

Increase Odds By Forecasting Solar Activity

The Aurora Borealis forms when solar winds and charged particles jettisoned from the sun interact with gases in the earth’s atmosphere. These particles stream towards the North Pole, colliding with atmospheric compounds to create the magical glow.

Consulting space weather forecasts allows you to anticipate when the sun ejects charged plasma towards earth, translating into potential Aurora sightings. Optimal conditions occur when Kp activity registers at least a reading of 7. Websites like SpaceWeatherLive offer real-time tracking of solar flare ups and resulting Aurora predictions.

Combine following space weather with optimal new moon phases around the equinoxes for highest probability of clear sight lines and active Lights.

Chase Optimal Viewing Conditions

Auroral displays form in the upper atmosphere ranges between 60 to 200 km high. Seek out unobstructed vistas above sea level overlooking northern horizons to maximize potential visibility.

Ideal conditions also require clear, cloudless skies. The Aurora’s luminous streaks of green, pink and purple light emissions can easily get swallowed behind cloud cover. Seek shelter from obscuring weather in coastal regions which statistically enjoy fewer overcast days.

Additionally, venture outside the glow cast by urban light pollution. Areas like northern Finland and Sweden offer remote backcountry with excellent clarity for Aurora hunting under the dazzling starry winter skies.

Extend Viewing Duration On Multi-Night Expeditions

While timing the perfect solar storm contributes, extended expeditions over consecutive evenings provide more opportunity to catch the elusive Lights. Base yourself in a northern Norway destination town like Tromsø or Alta where subject experts offer guided Aurora tours. Embark on snowmobile, dogsled or reindeer sleigh journeys towards national parks and wilderness preserves keeping watch for nights the colors dance.

Many Norway excursions build in flexibility to chase positive sightings based on the latest weather and solar forecasts. Overnight winter cruises allow adapting itineraries for prime viewing locations daily.

Capture The Action With Proper Camera Equipment

Photographing the ethereal Aurora requires special technical considerations given the low light emissions and ever-changing subject movement. Mirrorless or DSLR cameras allow manually adjusting ISO, exposure times and aperture settings essential to prevent blur and overexposure.

Wide angle and fast lenses in the f/2.8 or lower range prove optimal to soak in vast sweeps of the night sky. Sturdy tripods provide stability during the long exposure shots, while remote triggers prevent shaking.

Go prepared knowing proper camera handling for cold weather and invest in technical gear like equatorial mounts or motion trigged tracking systems for sharp images of the gliding Lights.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you see the Aurora Borealis every night in Norway?

No, auroral visibility depends on many optimal conditions aligning like solar activity, clear skies, lack of light pollution, and latitude positioning under the auroral oval. Northern towns offer the highest concentrations, but sightings remain around 20% even during peak season. Multi-date Aurora holidays and tours increase favorable sighting odds.

What is the best time of day to see the Aurora?

From late evening through the very early morning hours before daylight provide the darkest skies conducive to witnessing the luminous light streaks. Solar activity leading to auroras typically occurs from 9 pm onwards.

Can you see the Northern Lights from Oslo or Bergen?

Yes, but the lights appear significantly less frequent and less vibrant given the more southerly latitudes and proximity to light pollution. Head farther north for practically guaranteed sightings and dazzling displays under optimal conditions.

Should I take a Northern Lights photography tour?

Yes, given the Auroras unpredictability and necessary camera adjustments, guided tours prove extremely useful to capture these fleeting moments. Instruction provides proper technical foundations to achieve well exposed, nicely composed images. Let seasoned professionals direct you to the best possible photo vantage points.

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