Northern lights, Aurora Borealis, FireFox (Foxe’s Fire – in Finnish “Revontuli”), Polar Lights, Aurora Polaris and more… What are they really?

The Aurora is an incredible light show caused by collisions between electrically charged particles released from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere and collide with gases such as oxygen and nitrogen

So many people dream to see these dancing multicolour lights, magical as they are, it really put’s things into perspective and is one of those phenomenon that returns ones feet back on the ground. We are indeed small in the scale of our solar system let alone our galaxy and the universe. However, witnessing this event is one of those moments that truly connects us with the world around us, not our rock and sphere, but with space and the rest that is out there. Auroras can be seen in the northern latitudes quite reliably, however one needs to climb up to the very northern part to Scandinavia and Finland to see these.

Locations in Finland that are close to the Aurora Oval are the best locations to try and secure a glimpse of this absolutely beautiful event. Areas such as Ivalo, Inari, Levi, Muotka in Saariselkä and Nellim in the North East Border of Finland, near Russia, offer great probability to enjoy the show.

When can you see the lights? When it’s dark ? So when is it dark? As Finland and Lapland lie on the northern latitudes the sun light is not constant around the year, in fact the variation is huge; from 24 hours of no light to light all the time. In fact Midnight sun is another weird and wonderful experience for most, since we expect it to be dark at 1 am. In Finland Summer is the time of Light so May, June, July and August – totally out of contention. If one wants to see northern lights in those months it is a trip to the Antarctic, Australia, Patagonia or New Zeland or the space station. – Then all shout BUT THAT IS THE SOUTH!! – Ok then – Space Station is your only option…

Spring solstice 21.3. is a good marker for end of Northern lights season or there abouts. One can still see them at the end of march, put the sunlight hours are progressively getting longer. By April you may catch a glimpse of a glow that can be mistaken as sunset, but it really does not compare with the real deal. In Finland mid September is already starting to be dark time of the year and there wont be snow year to reflect light so season in the autumn would confidently start in mid to end of September. October, November – Good. December, January and February Great! March – good and April – rather go to drive huskies and ski on the spring sun….

White Nights MAY – Midnight Sun JUNE and JULY – NO NORTHERN LIGHTS! If one wanted to experience both, then two separate trips to Finland are in order, or trip from Mid March to Mid June.

How much time to reserve to confidently say there is a good probability to see them? Minimum of 3 nights is the common answer, however weather and location + the sun itself play a major role in those. Recommendation is between 3-5 nights if it is once in a lifetime trip.