WHAT TO WEAR FOR AURORA HUNTING
There is no other way to put this, here in the arctic circle, its cold. Really cold! The lowest temperature ever recorded in Finland was -51.5 degrees, in 1999 here in the county of Kittilä. Thankfully it's not often THAT cold!
For watching the Aurora, we recommend you wear your warmest clothing. Layering is always the best solution. You don't need to buy specialist winter clothing if you don't have them. Start with a thermal top. Over that you are better to layer up with thinner layers of breathable fabric. Lastly your warmest winter coat.
Down below we would recommend you wear thermal leggings with warm ski trousers over the top. For your extremities we recommend you wear mittens rather than gloves. Liner gloves underneath are also a very good addition when you need to operate your camera. For your feet, warm winter socks with winter boots or waterproof walking boots. Wellingtons are not appropriate. On your head, your warmest hat. Ideally one that covers your ears. We have a selection of high quality winter overalls, hats, and gloves on hand that will keep the cold out.
WHAT ARE NORTHERN LIGHTS?
At the center of the sun, the temperature is 15 million degrees Celsius. As the surface of the Sun boils and bubbles particles escape from sunspots on the surface, hurling particles of plasma into space, known as solar wind. It takes these winds just 40 hours to make the 150 million km journey to Earth.
As they reach Earth the particles are drawn irresistibly toward the magnetic north and south poles. As the particles pass through the Earth's magnetic shield they mingle with atoms and molecules of oxygen, nitrogen and other elements in our atmosphere that result in the dazzling display of lights in the sky.
The Aurora are one of nature's many great wonders. There is no guarantee you will seen them when you come to the Arctic. They do not appear at a specific time or in any specific place and of course, if it's cloudy, you won't be able to see them. Though at times the clouds might glow green!
What we can do is take you to places where the chances of seeing them are higher using local knowledge and weather data from here on Earth and out there in Space.
COLOURS OF THE AURORA
Aurora colours change according to altitude and element the suns charged particles are passing through.
above 150 miles -- red -- oxygen
up to 150 miles -- green -- oxygen
above 60 miles -- purple or violet -- nitrogen
up to 60 miles -- blue -- nitrogen