People come from all over the world to see the Northern Lights in Norway. The pictures in the tourist brochures look really good. My advise is, don’t. Come and see the fjords, the midnight sun, the mountains, the cod, but not the Northern Lights, because chances are you’ll be disappointed. 10 years ago my friend Joe and I went all the way to Tromsø, quite a bit north of here, too see the Northern Lights and we only saw a lump of dim light in the sky that could’ve been a cloud. A bunch of fickle variables need to conspire to make for good Northern Light viewing. First, strong solar activity. Then, a cloudless and moonless night. And you need to be awake. This year is supposed have strong solar activity — strongest in 50 years according to NASA — but 4 months into our stay, nothing except one night and it was lame. Until tonight.
It was brilliant. Certainly the most spectacular I’ve ever seen. What’s really unnerving is that this stuff moves. Pretty fast. We took these pictures below from our deck. I decided to hike up the hill behind our house to get better pictures, but by the time I got up there, it had already weakened significantly. When I got back down to the house, it was nearly gone. A light show that lasted maybe 2 hours. But boy it was really good while it lasted. Kristin and I stood on the deck and went ohhh and ahhh. Even she hadn’t seen it this good since she was little.
Postscript: It turns out that in these days we got one of biggest geomagnetic storms ever seen. Here is a post with great photos from a Northern Light enthusiast. He wrote, “Tonight I witnessed one of the best Northern Lights displays that I’ve ever seen, and I mean EVER in over 5000 hours on the ice.”