Spring equinox Auroras in Rovaniemi

Hello guys!

Have I told you that Equinoxes are a great time to see Aurora Borealis? I guess I have! :)

Spring Equinox comes on March 20th, however, great Northern Lights spotting period begins at least two weeks prior and continues for a couple of weeks after the Equinox.

Actually, the whole March and the beginning of April are generally good months to spot Auroras. There are several factors that make seeing the Auroras easier.

First factor is that for some reason Auroras love Equinoxes.  Science cannot provide us with a certain answer to why it is so, but the statistics are backing up that claim.

This photo was taken on March 17th, pretty close to the Equinox date.

Strong Auroras in Rovaniemi

Strong Auroras in Rovaniemi during Spring Equinox. Photo by Alexander Kuznetsov / All About Lapland.

We see much more activity with Northern Lights and even the small disturbance in the Earth’s magnetic field can cause some Auroras. No big Solar storms needed. They can come unexpected, in spite of forecasts, and on many nights you can see this kind of glow:

Chances are high to see Auroras in March

During equinox Auroras can often come unexpected. Photo by Alexander Kuznetsov / All About Lapland.

The second factor is that in March we generally have more nights with clear skies, than, for example in January or February. This gives us more chances to see Auroras. This is what “regular” Auroras look like. If you are coming to Lapland to see Auroras, this is what people expect and often see.

Auroras in a Lappish forest

Auroras are a common sight in March in Lapland. Photo by Alexander Kuznetsov / All About Lapland.

However, during March the probability of real Aurora Storms is much greater, so you can be even lucky to see something like this:

Amazing Equinox Aurora Storm in Lapland

Aurora storm during Spring Equinox 2016 in Lapland. Photo by Alexander Kuznetsov / All About Lapland.

And this:

Equinox Auroras often come with a blast

Powerful Auroras in March 2016 in Rovaniemi. Photo by Alexander Kuznetsov / All About Lapland.

Or this :)

Beginning of April in Rovaniemi Lapland Finland. Photo by Alexander Kuznetsov / All About Lapland.

Beginning of April in Rovaniemi Lapland Finland. Photo by Alexander Kuznetsov / All About Lapland.

During one of these storms in March 2016 I made a realtime video with my Northern Lights gear. See the Auroras playing “live”:

Auroras can be powerful enough to be easily seen above the city. Usually street lights make them a bit difficult to notice. You just have to be out at the right time of the night (all night, in my case!). This is, by the way House of Culture Korundi in Rovaniemi, a great place to visit if you are in Rovaniemi.

Auroras above Rovaniemi city

Spring equinox Auroras are so powerful they can be seen above the city with ease. Photo by Alexander Kuznetsov / All About Lapland.

Of course I use this time to take as much Aurora photos and videos as I can :)

Grabbing Aurora Borealis material

Shooting Auroras around the Arktikum museum in Rovaniemi. Photo by Alexander Kuznetsov / All About Lapland.

And this is how I often hunt for Auroras, with my bike. I have a huge backpack to transport all the gear. Tough job to travel around, but it’s worth it!

Aurora hunter's gear

This is how I often go Aurora hunting in Rovaniemi. Photo by Alexander Kuznetsov / All About Lapland.

In our next Aurora Hunter issue we will learn how to process Northern Lights images and get the most of them. Remember to always thoot RAW! 😀

Happy Aurora hunting!

 

Author: Alexander Kuznetsov

I am an Editor-in-Chief of "All About Lapland" travel magazine, passionate Aurora Chaser, and an adventurous photographer. Based in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland but travel all around the region.

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2 Comments

  1. I am so excited to see your many amazing articles on this topic. I have never seen or photographed the Northern Lights, and am excited to do so! I’m coming with my 6-year old from Dallas, TEXAS! We are coming into Helsinki and taking the night train to Rovaniemi! I can’t wait to explore your city! I am trying to find a more light weight (carbon-fiber) tripod for this trip… as my camera equipment is already going to add too much weight. I would like to do some video as well… any tips on that? Are you doing timelapse images into a video? Since light is an issue? Thank you so much for your time! And I’ll explore your activities and safaris as well!

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    • Hello Desiree. Some of the best light-weight tripods are made by Manfrotto, although they are more pricier than their aluminum-made counterparts. To do the real-time video, currently, there is only one camera on the market that can do that and that is Sony A7S. Alternatively, you can make a timelapse, however, it is not exactly the same thing. To do the timelapse you need some kind of intervalometer. They come inbuilt in newer cameras, and there is a wide range of external remotes with intervalometers available. To make a timelapse you need about 200-300 images (each 24-30 images, depending on the chosen framerate, will make 1 second of video). Each image should be exposed for several seconds, you have to experiment with that. Read more about photography tips in my other article :) –Alex

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