The Northern Lights
A mythical collision between solar wind and the atmosphere
Suddenly the black night sky starts to shift. Green shadows billow up, like the lightest of drapes captured by the wind. The spectacle plays out for a few heavenly minutes, or perhaps a few hours, and can disappear just as quickly as it appeared. The Northern Lights have made their entrance.
This natural Phenomenon, the Northern Lights, has always intrigued and inspired, and sometimes even scared man. Many of us dream of experiencing a really powerful display of Northern Lights, or maybe even see Northern Lights corona, but it takes both patience and a little luck.
Up here in Northern Sweden, the best chances of spotting the Northern Lights come during clear nights from September to March, when the sky is at its darkest. If you want to keep your eye on the Northern Lights forecast, there are lots of different apps and websites available. Search for “aurora forecast” in your app store. You can also go to spacewahterlive.com for more detailed forecasts.
The best way to see or photograph the Northern Lights is to find a place with a somewhat dark horizon to the north, with no disturbing lights. So, it’s good to travel a bit north of Östersund for the best experience. A beautiful Northern Lights is worth waiting for. And the fact that no Northern Lights are the same as another just makes the experience so completely special, every time.
Photography tips from Astro Photographer Göran Strand
A camera with maual exposure settings
A tripod and a wide-angle lens (14-20 mm)
Exposure times of 5-20 seconds at ISO 1600-3200, depending on the brightness and activity