Internet is mostly a useful place but sometimes, with all the confident lies floating around, it can be a dangerous place too! Ditto is the scenario when you dig into the internet trying to educate yourself more about the heavenly Northern Lights. Since it’s the grandest show in the Arctic region it attracts a great deal of curiosity. There are plenty of lies and mistaken beliefs doing the rounds about the Northern Lights.
Therefore, we sat down today to debunk all the falsehoods that have, over the period, become a popular belief among tourists around the world, and have somehow affected the tour plans of many. Pay very close attention to all the points mentioned below since they could help you in your future trip one way or the other!
Here are the 8 most popular lies that you’ll come across on the internet while researching about the Northern Lights!
1. Aurora is a winter phenomenon
Aurora is NOT just a winter-specific phenomenon! Apparently, Autumn is the best Northern Lights viewing. It’s a widespread notion that Northern Lights can be seen only during winter which is not at all true. It must be noted that Northern Lights can be sighted as early as August-end. This year (2019) it was spotted in the last week of August.
If you plan it well, September & October are the perfect time Aurora hunting. Which means it doesn’t necessarily have to be freezing outside nor the weather has to be really snowy to plan a Northern Light trip. All it should be is completely dark outside and some good solar winds activity for Northern Lights to appear.
2. Aurora can be watched even from the city
In most of the cases, no! Light pollution is the biggest obstruction between you and the Northern Lights. Therefore, it is always advised to watch the Northern Lights from the wilderness which could be located far from the city or residential areas. The expectation to watch Auroras from the comfort of your room while being surrounded by city lights can not be a good idea (leave alone the exceptional cases of an Aurora storm or a great kp of 6 or 7).
Of course, having a room surrounded by trees or a glass igloo in the wilderness can be a perfect idea for Aurora watching. You must run to the wilderness, where there is absolutely no trace of city lights.
3. Phones can come handy for the Northern Light photos
To capture the best photos of the Northern Lights always keep a professional camera handy. You must be well-versed in manual photography to click the best shots of the Northern Lights. It is interesting to note that the Northern Lights aren’t as strong as mostly seen in the photos, therefore long exposure and high ISO is required to capture the light in the surroundings.
Therefore, to make the best of your Northern Lights trip make sure that you have a professional camera and a tripod. Optionally, a high-end phone with an advanced camera & a good lens can also do a good job. Carrying a normal phone (yes, even an iPhone) can be a terrible mistake that you will regret later. Be well-prepared!
4. Apps make exact predictions for the Auroras (not always)
There are quite a few apps that are really good with Northern Lights prediction. And these apps have a major role to play when it comes to planning a successful Northern Lights trip. Having said that, there are times when despite bad prediction some places get to see good Aurora views. It is, therefore, recommended to follow the weather changes quite closely and see the hourly forecast on the weather department website of the local region.
You can not take Northern Lights for granted and good luck and plenty of patience is needed to watch the Northern Lights. Aurora is the best available app in the App Store & Play Store right now to check the most accurate Northern Lights forecast.
5. The higher the Kp, the bigger is the Northern Lights show! (Again, not always)
Technically, the higher the Kp, the better are the Aurora sightings. And it’s a sure thing in most of the cases unless nature decides to surprise you. Yes, there have been days when even with Kp 2 or 3 prediction the sky goes lit and it becomes a fortunate moment for everyone out for Aurora hunting.
6. You can not see the Northern Lights when the moon is out!
Again a lie spread by random people on the internet. Auroras are pretty much visible and that too when moon is out in its full glory. Moon and stars along with the Northern Lights make for a perfect setting.
7. Clear sky is a must to watch the Auroras
Though clear skies present a perfect situation to watch Northern Lights that doesn’t mean a cloudy sky will completely disappoint you. If the solar wind is strong enough the lights will be visible even with clouds up there! The bottom line is for a good Northern Lights show strong solar wind activity is important.
8. Guided tours aren’t important! You are better off hunting Auroras alone
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work the same as most of the popular guided tour does! You could be an experienced traveller and a confident explorer but hunting Auroras on your own can get tricky. Yes, undermining the role of a tour guide while signing up for a Northern Lights tour can not be a good idea and this is an honest opinion from us.
Since the local tour guides exactly know all the hotspots from where you can get the best Aurora sightings and you might or you might not get lucky finding it alone unless you have a reliable local source with plenty of experience.
A Northern Light tour is no ordinary tour & we’d recommend you to be quite clear in your head before booking a Northern Lights trip in Lapland. Make sure that you know the truth and have already done your homework. And in the end, you’d see that your Northern Lights trip was a glittering one indeed!
To know more about our Northern Lights tour visit our website!