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These First Time Aurora Watchers Were Extremely Lucky!

The stars really aligned for these first time aurora watchers when they visited the west coast area of Finland. I am still amazed by how lucky these Belgian people were.

The northern lights were on their bucket list. Of course it was something they wanted to see while being here. They visited Finland in March 2024 and stayed for five nights in the region. After that they spent a couple of days in southern Finland where chances to see the Aurora Borealis are rare.

I was booked to give them my Aurora 100 indoor northern lights show and they also—if the chance would come—wanted to see the aurora live. But I guess no one could have predicted what happened.

Let me just say that the season has not been very good, and last time I saw the aurora was four weeks prior to the night when I gave my show. Before I even started the presentation they asked about the chances to see it that night. I told them it was not impossible at all but we had to simply wait and see what would happen.

Ok, so I gave the show which normally takes an hour. This time, though, I made it a little shorter by suggesting we would have the Questions and Answers part of the show outside.

The house they rented (Glasbruket Resort, which I can warmly recommend) was just by the water, I mean the ice. So it was really easy to just walk right out on it to get an uninterrupted view to the north.

We took on a lot of clothes (they were very well equipped, I must say) and walked out towards the other side of the inlet where we would have a nice 500 meter view over the ice straight to the north.

First phase of the northern lights
Faint aurora in the beginning. At this point we could see it but it looked kind of greyish.

Group of people seeing the northern lights for the first time
The group watching as the activity slowly increased.

As we started our aurora watch we could only see a black sky with thousands of stars and a faint blurry light area over the northern horizon. I had to point it out to them before they noticed it. And when I told them THAT was the northern lights they might have felt more than disappointed.

But it was only the start. We had only been on the ice for five minutes when we could see the faint light getting stronger and soon forming a band over the treetops. The level of disappointment was still on the higher side, but I said to them: ”If this is all we will see tonight you can at least check the I have seen the aurora box.”

Soon we saw two lines of greyish green. The camera captured vivid green light but the human eye has problem seeing colors when the light is faint.

Aurora watching on the ice in Finland
The most active part was great to watch. These first timers were so happy for this opportunity.

Aurora Borealis shapes in the sky
At the end the aurora cracked up into a huge pattern.

I took their portraits in front of the aurora and I think everyone enjoyed the moment. But it was when we had been there for half an hour that the northern lights started dancing seriously for about 10 minutes before cracking up in a huge pattern that slowly faded.

During the peak minutes I could hear a lot of “Wow!” and “Oooh!” People are always amazed by the look of a dancing aurora. When it grows by slowly crawling sideways with moving shapes that are hard to describe in words. I asked one in the group how it felt. ”Amazing, but I expected more colours.” If you plan to travel north to see the aurora: please expect mostly green if you see it. Any colour apart from that is bonus. This time we saw a little purple and pink too, but most of it was green.

This night really left me thinking about timing. Never have I been able to say after my northern lights show: ”Now let’s go out and see it in reality.” I could have done it this time.

The northern lights' last phase before disappearing
The typical phase when the aurora slowly faded with a shape like the smoke from a forest fire.

Glasbruket Resort and aurora borealis
Glasbruket Resort. Houses for rent by the water (or ice), sometimes even with the northern lights dancing above them.


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