Northern Lights are the crown jewels of the northern night sky.
The auroras get their energy from the Sun’s constant flow of particles brought by solar wind in to space and finally in to the Earth’s atmosphere.
Charged electrons hitting the Earth’s atmosphere excite oxygen atoms and nitrogen molecules to the higher energy levels. When these higher energy levels relax, you can see the light produced by the emitting protons. The color of the light depends on the quality of the excited particle and the energy it received at the collision. The magnetic field of the Earth guides these excited particles to the atmosphere at the areas surrounding the magnetic poles which are called auroral ovals.
When you are standing by a forest in a clear winter night watching the beautiful colors in the sky and listening to the mystical whispers of the northern lights, you probably won’t be thinking about the explanation of the magnetic fields by meteorological institute.
In our imagination the magnetic ribbon of the northern lights gives a boost of energy to its viewer. And you can be sure that your mental powers increase when you are admiring the fires of the night sky.
In Finland you can see the northern lights most likely at midnight in Lapland. Most of the northern lights in Finland are seen at the altitude of Kilpisjärvi, where you can see the auroras at three out of four nights if the sky is clear. At the altitude of Rovaniemi and Luosto the northern lights can be seen every other night. The northern lights are visible when the night is dark enough and the midnight Sun is not covering them. At the region of Rovaniemi the auroras can be seen from the middle of August until the end of April.
The best time to see the northern lights is at 9 pm. – 1 am. The peak is at 11.30 pm, when the magnetic midnight and the phenomena of Earth’s magnetic field are at its largest. The occurrence of the auroras depends on the amount of sunspots. And therefore we have had an excellent time for auroras since 2015 and this is expected to continue also at 2017. Although In Lapland the northern lights are quite common every year.
The phone alarm wakes you up just before the midnight. The glass igloo at Santa’s Igloos Arctic Circle is warm and cosy but your phone wanted to alarm you about the auroras. The sky is colored with red and green, the auroras are dancing above the pine trees at the Arctic Circle in Rovaniemi. Is there anything greater?
The Finnish word for the northern lights “revontuli” comes from folk tales of an arctic fox flying across the sky. The arctic fox was a mythical animal, which every hunter secretly wanted to catch. The one who could catch the fox would become rich and famous. The Sámi people had great respect for the northern lights. You weren’t allowed to tease the auroras or they would come down and take revenge on you and petrify you to a statue. And then you would certainly have enough time to admire the fiery lights. In Lapland people believed that you shouldn’t whistle during the northern lights or they would burn your hair.
What if there is some truth to the stories? What if the arctic fox is flying above you just waiting for its opportunity? It is not the time to whistle or tease. You probably want to be able to enjoy the snowshoe walk on the next day and to keep your hair?
One of the best places for admiring the northern lights is at Santa’s Chalets Rakka in Kilpisjärvi. In Saariselkä Santa’s Hotel Tunturi offers you cosy accommodation and the wide sky of Saariselkä gives an excellent opportunity to see the beautiful colors of the auroras. If you want a whole new luxury experience, you should admire the auroras in the warmth of a glass igloo either at Santa’s Hotel Aurora in Luosto or at Santa’s Igloos Arctic Circle in Rovaniemi.
Make a reservation to the incredible spectacle of the northern lights: www.santashotels.fi
The Staff of Santa’s Hotels warmly welcomes You!
Text: Kirsi Karhu
Photos:Jussi Perkkiö, Antti Kurola
Photos:Jussi Perkkiö, Antti Kurola