How to chase the Northern Lights. Check lists, and other useful information for Beyond Arctic. This is an exclusive page for Beyond Arctic.
Best Aurora Viewing Conditions
- Light Pollution
- Solar Activity +-3 days
- After the sunsets before the sunrises.
- SuperSaa – 2 weather reports 1 website.
Cloud – Foreca has a prediction service.
- Light pollution – Light pollution can be a factor.
- Solar activity 3 or 4 days before helps more for people viewing in the south. Any given night in the North has a 50% / 50% chance even at Kp 0 – Kp 1
Ideal viewing for Northern Lights
4 basic things you need to see Northern Lights. Darkness, clear skies, low as possible light pollution and Solar Activity. Anyone of the first 4 can stop viewing in Finland.
An easy way to think about it is can you see the stars?
Can you see the North Star / Polaris?
Looking north towards Polaris is a good direction to start.
The further South you are the lower in the sky you look for the Northern Lights. (For example Loviisa start with just above the horizon.)
Combine your information. Use a light pollution or dark skies app. This eliminates as much light pollution as possible.
Maps. Use a satellite image of your selected area.
Things to consider: Foreground. Parking. Main road (Roads cleared of snow.)
Information is important.
Jemma.mobi and spaceweatherlive are 2 effective websites for northern lights. These 2 websites will keep you informed and give you predictions about what is happening with the storm.
As a rule. If its clear it is cold. How cold will vary with wind. In October (Autumn) the temperature can easily drop to -12c. Winter can have temperatures drop to -40c.
With clothing and the hunt I recommend layers. For example your feet,
Socks – woolen socks . thermal insole (felt) and thermal boots.
This will apply to your legs /arms / head /hands. REMEMBER when you get in to the warm remove as many layers as possible and unzip. You will feel the benefit of your clothing when you next go out.
Photography and viewing
There are are a lot of guides online. Minimum requirements are:
Camera or a modern mobile phone.
Tripod. Long exposure times and cold hands do not mix.
Trigger / Intervalometer
(spare powerbanks / batteries for camera and light source)
Fast links for beyond arctic
The above is basic contents. A reminder of things you have learnt from a Beyond Arctic course. Below are the guides I have taken the time to research and make.