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Aurora in the Arctic

Even without the aurora the visual appearance of this arctic landscape was nothing but jaw dropping. The spruces were covered with snow that transformed them into weird looking silent creatures. It was a surreal but astonishing view.

Snow covered threes in Lapland, Finland
The strong moonlight made it even more surreal.

I think my trip to Riisitunturi National Park a week ago must have been the peak of my outdoor adventures. It is kind of hard to beat what I had the opportunity of experiencing.


I will tell you more about the trip itself in my next blog post, but I can tell you that I went with a group and we spent three days and three nights outdoors in quite cold conditions, which was an experience in itself. More on that next time.


This blog post is about the auroral activity we had the first night.

Map over Finland, the Arctic Circle and Riisitunturi

The reason for this trip was not the northern lights. But, of course, I was hoping to see some auroral activity once I had made it all the way to the Arctic Circle. Or very close to it anyway.


Fortunately we had clear skies every night although it was forecasted to be mostly cloudy.


Northern lights over an arctic expedition

As we left the bus and made our way to the base camp with forest skis on our feet, a faint appearance of the northern lights could be seen. It just hinted that it had seen us and wanted to greet us. I’m sure that’s what it meant. That was around 8 PM and it faded away in a few minutes. I'm not even sure everyone in the group saw it.


I kept my eye on the northern part of the sky and one hour later, at 9 PM, a green arch started to appear just above the treetops. It grew stronger and bent and moved during the next hour. But it never became very strong. Still it was breathtakingly beautiful.

Faint aurora seen behind the expedition gear and snow covered trees.

Silently it placed a third colour in the two coloured landscape. The dark blue sky and the light blue snow, illuminated by the full moon, was completed with the green aurora.


At one point it rose over our heads and I expected it to burst into vertical lines in different colours but that never happened. It never roared but only whispered.

Northern Lights in Finnish Lapland.

Aurora borealis in a snowy landscape
Arctic expedition participant carrying skis under the northern lights
Walking around in a fantasy-like landscape

What is it like to spend three days and nights outdoors in very cold conditions, you might ask. In my next blog post I will tell you about my arctic expedition from that perspective.


Whispering Aurora is now available as a print. Click the link to find out more about the product.


 

Let me tell you a secret: Before I went to Riisitunturi I imagined walking around among these snow heavy trees and taking pictures of the aurora. Well, that's what I got to do and I'm very happy about it. But it left me wanting more. I want to capture pictures like the one Sergey Korolev has in this blog post. His photo is called Polar-Snow Monsters.

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