The post you have all been waiting for… those lovely glowing skies… the lights dance across the sky, making you forget your toes and fingers are frozen solid…
So after a lovely day looking at big craters and waterfalls, I decided to do a Northern Lights tour- as the forecast for lights was promising and they can be very elusive, I was lucky enough to have one of Iceland’s best Northern Lights hunters, Armand as my tour guide, and he was a cheerful, big, tall, blonde, bearded viking! And luckily he helped me a little with my camera settings so I managed to get some shots!
So here is what I have learnt, in order to see the Northern Lights, you need a dark, clear night. They are visible from late September to March anywhere from 6pm to 6am. There also needs to be solar flares on the sun or solar wind; the Aurora Borealis happens when particles from the sun enter Earth’s atmosphere and collide violently with gas atoms. There are Aurora forecasts and am now a fan of Aurora Forecast app for iPhone that will predict the aurora activity level. But the fact is, the Northern Lights are unpredictable, and I’ve had clear nights when the Aurora forecast showed level 4 (high) activity and didn’t see anything.
The weather in the Arctic is as notoriously unpredictable as the Northern Lights themselves. It’s not unusual to have sunshine, clouds, rain, sleet, hail, snow, and high winds all in the same day. Just because you wake up to crystal clear skies, that doesn’t mean those crystal clear skies will stick around until Northern Lights viewing time. Anyway here are some shots from the tour as well as from last night here on Hrisey.