Thus originate the polar auroras, which are more frequent and intense when solar activity is at its maximum and, therefore, the flow of particles increases. On average, residents of areas at 60° to 70° latitude may witness a hundred polar auroras annually. Exceptionally, during the most intense solar storms, the phenomenon is also visible at lower latitudes.
Information by Franco Foresta Martin
“My name is Maurizio and I hunt the Northern Lights in Lofoten. Normally the season lasts from approx. August 25th -26th to approx. April 15th.
The period in which the lights are visible varies a little in the beginning and end of a season, due to the strenght of the Aurora Borealis and at what time and which day the lights hit the earth.
To be able to take photos of the Aurora one has to have a decent digital SLR -camera so that you are able to adjust the ISO, as well as the exposure time. A good tripod is necessary to keep the the camera competely still and, in addition, a remote control is an advantage.
The designation “KP” is used to measure the strenght of the Northrn Lights. The scale starts at KP 0.0 and reaches KP 9-10. As the KP increases, the further south the Northern Light belt is visible. With a KP between 0.0 to approx 1.87 the best chance to see the Northern Lights in Lofoten will be on the Northern side of the islands. When the KP passes 1.87 the chance to experience the lights in southern Lofoten increases.
At KP 4 and up the lights can be seen south of Lofoten and in the Sea between Lofoten and the mainland south of us.
Athough the Aurora may appear to be motionless in the sky this is never the case. The speed of the lights have been measured at somewhere between 100-1000 km/sec. The angle of the lights, which you can see on the apps, varies between red and green, green in the north, yellow straight up and red in the south. We also have an IMF scale which goes from 0 -36. The higher the IMF – the stronger the lights.
In my opinion, Gimsøya – approx 30 km from Svolvær/Kabelvåg – is the best place to experience the Aurora Borealis in all of Lofoten and I call the western part of Gimsøya “the Aurora Park”. In addition, Skagsand in Flakstad, Reine, Laukvik, Haukland Beach, and Utakleiv are amazing places to experience the Aurora Borealis. It is always exciting to get in the car in the evening, heading west, hoping to catch a glimpse of a predicted Northern lights outburst – to see if and where the lights will appear, what shape it will take and what colours will be displayed. On these excursions I bring some food and drinks, warm clothes, all my camera equipment and tripod, as well as high expectations and lots of patience.
The Aurora Borealis never appears in the same way twice, so there is always something new to experience. This is what makes the Aurora Borealis so amazing and I never grow tired of hunting for it.
So, all that remains for me now is to wish you a fantastic and exciting search for the Aurora Borealis here in Lofoten.
I hope to join you for the hunt!“
Professional Aurora Borealis Hunter
The Vikings believed that the colours derived from the light reflecting on the shields of the Valkyries. They were the messengers of the god Odin who came from Walhalla riding their horses to designate those who would be killed in battle. Once in Walhalla, the Valkyries brought horns filled with beer to the Einherjars, the warriors killed in battle. The luminescent streaks were their spears, the flashing sparks the reflections of their shields and their bows the Bfröst (rainbow), the legendary bridge over which the souls of the dead passed into the afterlife. The flares that were observed in the sky signalled that the messengers were at work, a sign of a battle taking place somewhere.