The Northern Lights in Lapland, Aurora, Aurora Borealis – whatever you know this phenomenon as, there’s no doubt, it’s an event to behold, and one that will stick long in your memory. Aurora Borealis takes it’s name from the Roman Goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for a northerly wind, Boreas.
An Aurora is a natural light show, that is caused by highly charged particles from the sun colliding with the Earth’s atmosphere. What you may not know is, only Aurora that occur in the Northern Hemisphere can be called Aurora Borealis. Aurora in the Southern Hemisphere are called Aurora Australis.
If you are an Astronomy buff, or maybe just like to watch the skies, there is no place on Earth better to view the Aurora than Lapland. Sure, you can go to any of the Scandanavian Countries, but here’s why Lapland should be the top of your list:
Given Lapland’s location in the Hemisphere, the Aurora can be seen from all over. There is even a city, Alta, which is known to many as “The City new york Of Aurora Borealis”. Alta is likely the best place you will find to go see this light show, and it is situated in Finnmark (Norwegian Lapland) – see more here
2013 is set to be a big year for Aurora activity also, as the sun is entering its peak activity in a 11 year cycle, known as Solar Maximus.
Lapland is fast becoming a hot destination spot for tourists also, and not just those hoping to catch a glimpse of old Saint Nick toiling away in preparation for Christmas. It boasts magnificent scenery, which has to be seen to be believed. There are numerous activities that you can take part in – skiing, take a trip on the Arctic train, visit the Ice Hotel, salmon fishing – the choices are many and varied. There is something for everybody.
The Aurora will be best seen when the weather is frosty, so be sure to dress as appropriate for this, as temperatures can drop to as low as -50c in the winter. You may be surprised to learn that the weather is not always cold and snowy in Lapland. If you choose to travel there in summer months, the weather can be warm. If you are lucky, you may experience “the Midnight Sun”!
Those are some of the reasons why your best bet for Aurora watching is Lapland.