HomeAurora Hunting ExpeditionsAurora Nights: Embarking on Northern Lights Expeditions

Aurora Nights: Embarking on Northern Lights Expeditions

As soon as the clouds disperse, brilliant blues, greens and violets shimmer across the night sky. Chasing the kaleidoscope of colors that is the Aurora Borealis is the ultimate experience for those seeking a once-in-a-lifetime journey. There is no better way to witness this wondrous sight than an Aurora Night expedition. Witnessed by few, these unforgettable trips will leave you mesmerized and in awe of the mystery and beauty of the Northern Lights.

1. Chasing the Alluring Aurora Borealis

The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, are a profoundly beautiful natural phenomena. Viewers are drawn to the colorful night sky, mesmerized by the ever-changing sky illuminated by the dancing lights. If you’re looking for a truly unique and majestic experience, it is worth the effort to find a stunning display of the Aurora Borealis.

There are many places one can go for a chance to witness this spectacular show of nature’s brilliance. Canada and Alaska are known for being excellent destinations in North America, with several of their national parks offering unforgettable sights. In Europe, two of the best spots for viewing the lights are the Northern areas of Norway, Sweden, and Finland.

The best time of year to view the lights is from October to March.

  • Plan your trips accordingly and try to check weather forecasts to see if the sky will be clear for viewing.
  • Also, note that the lights can show up abruptly and last for only a few minutes, so it pays to be patient and keep your eyes open.

As you look up to the night sky, you may even be lucky enough to see the dancing green, yellow, pink or purple lights in all its glory.

2. Venturing Far North: Preparing for an Aurora Tour

Venturing far north to see the now-rarer-than-ever aurora borealis is no task to take lightly. Many ask: What do I need to do to prepare for such an experience? In order to ensure an enjoyable time, here are a few essential tips to take into account before setting out.

  • Get the Right Gear. Since temperatures can drastically drop at night, having the right winter attire is a must. A good coat, snow boots, waterproof gloves, and thick socks should suffice and keep you warm, even in the midst of a blizzard.
  • Pack for Every Occasion. When traveling so far up, the weather tends to be a tad unpredictable. Bring along versatile items such as a raincoat, extra layers, and lightweight fabric.
  • Rent Local-Friendly Equipment. Depending on the terrain where you’re headed, having the appropriate transportation can be both helpful and necessary. Renting a snowmobile or a quad will help make your trip a successful one.

Don’t forget to check and double check the tour inclusions before signing up. Many trip packages include specialized activities such as snowshoeing, photoshoots, and warm beverages in between. Make sure to be aware of the “included” and “exclusion” detail before booking.

Apart from the obvious items you’ll need during your tour, having a great time and making amazing memories is just as essential. Have that excited and curious mindset intact before setting off- a special kind of necessity for getting the most out of your aurora sighting.

3. Capturing the Illuminating Northern Lights

Experiencing the northern lights is a truly captivating sight. Witnessing the sky light up in a kaleidoscope of colors and shapes is a moment to cherish forever.

First, it’s important to get the setting right. Optimal sighting of the northern lights is on a dark night during wintertime. Make sure to be outside away from city lights and be prepared with the right equipment and warm clothing.

Ideally, have a tripod and camera set up where you intend to watch and photograph the lights. Pro Tip – set your DSLR camera lens to a wide angle so that you can also capture the stars and night sky in the background. Use a long exposure to make sure the lights are bright and vivid.

  • Pack extra batteries
  • Shutter Speed: Between 15s–20s for wide angle
  • Aperture: f2.8 – f5.6 (depending on how dark the night is)
  • ISO: 800/1600 (depending on how bright the lights are)

For the most memorable and breathtaking photos of the northern lights, you can never go wrong with good preparation and timing!

4. Discovering the Magic of an Aurora Night

Watching the aurora is truly a special and bewitching experience. It’s a mesmerizing light show that breaks the monotony of what we are used to seeing in night skies. The dancing lights seem to bode of something bigger than ourselves –a grand mystery of the cosmos.

To begin with, pick a night where the auroras are predicted to be bright. It’s best to monitor aurora forecasts on websites and social media so you can decide which night would be most optimal to observe the lights. Then, prepare to journey to remote, dark places. Get away from city lights, and come up to higher altitudes so you can take in the full impression.

  • Set your intention. Write down the purpose behind why you are going out to watch an aurora. What is it that you hope to get out of the experience? Let this intention guide your focus and set the tone for your night.
  • Focus on the sensations. A landscape starlit by the aurora will be sure to take your breath away. Notice the chills you get from the cold air, the scent of nature, and the feeling of awe underneath the night sky.
  • Stay connected. Let yourself be inspired by the mystery and enchantment of the lights, remembering that they represent a connection to a much larger universe than your own.

The hour spent witnessing the aurora will leave you with an unforgettable experience. As you strive to make sense of the interpretations it speaks to you, you will deepen your sense of the cosmos and with it, a reminder that you too are part of something much grandeur than yourself.

5. Letting Nature’s Celestial Show Enchant You

  • The stars of nature’s celestial show are always spellbinding, but the rare sight of shooting stars and meteors streaking through the night sky never fails to captivate. Do yourself a favor and take a minute to gaze up and absorb the wonder and beauty of the night sky.
  • A night spent camping and listening to revealing stories under the blanket of a dark sky and its twinkling displays of lights can be a magical memory filled with awe and special connections.
  • Pack a comfortable chair, hot cocoa or some other brew to savor the moment, plus a fuzzy blanket to keep warm when temperatures drop.
  • Equip yourself with binoculars and a navigational app, such as SkyView® or Star Chart, and you can experience the art, mythology and science of the night sky in all its naaked-eye and magnified glory.

As the evening sky takes over, watch for the appearance of the darkest star patterns, otherwise known as constellations. In the stillness of the night, these shimmering formations can help evoke forgotten fantasies and forgotten stories, particularly when seen in unison with the galaxy of stars around them. Perhaps the most fascinating of all is the Milky Way. This gorgeous swath of stars can create a beautiful backdrop in which to spend a few moments soaking in the marvel of the starlit sky.

If you’re looking for an experience that will fill your soul with wonder, a northern lights expedition is the perfect adventure to pursue. An Aurora Nights expedition offers travelers a chance to watch this captivating natural light show in its full glory and get swept away in the enchanting beauty of the aurora. But no matter where you travel to, don’t forget to look up – something miraculous can be seen in the night sky.


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