Our Northern Lights Blog
Blue Planet II has been an amazing show, and if you're anything like us you’ll have sat in your favourite chair and watched it in wonder.
Here are three holidays to get you in the mood for some Blue Planet-style discovering, and of course, if you don’t spot some incredible marine life, you might just be in luck and see the Northern Lights instead!
Have you been watching Professor Brian Cox’s brilliant ‘Forces of Nature’ series featured on BBC One? This week’s stunning final episode focused on the science behind the colours of our planet.
Brian travelled around the globe experiencing phenomena such as the gentle beauty of a moon bow in Iceland, to the transformation of the sun-drenched Serengeti.
Finally, he landed in Northern Norway to uncover our favourite of all nature’s marvels – the spectacular Northern Lights.
Travelling to the Arctic not only takes you into Aurora territory, but it takes you into vast tracts of pristine wilderness where stunning views become almost commonplace.
In the Arctic there is nothing bleak about the winter environment. Wildlife abounds, and you will certainly develop respect for your surroundings and individuals who have made it their home over the centuries and even in modern times have an admirable relationship with the nature around them.
Our guide Trygvor picked us up at the hotel and before leaving we poured over the latest meteorological charts downloaded from the local Weather Centre’s website just 30 minutes earlier.
“It’s not a great night for the Aurora” was our guide’s very frank and somewhat disappointing summation “but, if we head south away from the clouds then we will find the Northern Lights”.
With renewed vigour, we jumped into the warmth of Trygvor’s car and headed out of town. As we drove south away from the Arctic Ocean we were told to keep our eyes peeled, not on the Arctic firmament but the roadside.
A recent trip to the Nordland Archipelago once again raised the thorny issue of the impact a full moon has on the Northern Lights.
To be honest, the whole discussion has left our Norwegian friends somewhat bemused and howling at a full moon for somewhat less traditional reasons.
As always, I’d made sure that I arrived in good time for dinner and as we sat down, I mentioned to my hosts that both the auroral and weather forecasts boded well for some Northern Lights spotting later that evening.
“But there is a full moon, you can’t possibly see the Northern Lights when there is a full moon!!” came the response dripping frustration and sarcasm in equal measure.
There is a myth perpetuated on the internet that you cannot see the Aurora Borealis when there is a full moon, it is nonsense and it’s driving the locals mad. Look at the night sky, it is vast. Look at the moon in the night sky, it is tiny.
The essence of it is that a full moon will only diminish your viewing pleasure if it is directly behind a low intensity Aurora which is often not much more than a somewhat underwhelming smudge of green light.
Every time we talk to our partners in The Aurora Zone they are increasingly exasperated by this fiction, so much so that it became a running joke during my recent trip to Norway. As we stood outside the restaurant later that evening gazing at the Aurora Borealis shimmering across the Norwegian firmament, one of my hosts turned to me and whispered,“Of course, you can’t see those lights you are looking at, there’s a full moon!!”. So, if only to save our Norwegian partners from further exasperation, please don’t believe everything you read about the Northern Lights and a full moon.
Ali rarely forgets to remind us that he founded the UK's first ever Northern Lights holiday brand but behind his self-promoting braggadocio is a genuine pride that The Aurora Zone has been responsible for helping thousands of people tick the Northern Lights off their bucket list.
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