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.
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:
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.
However, during March the probability of real Aurora Storms is much greater, so you can be even lucky to see something like this:
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.
Of course I use this time to take as much Aurora photos and videos as I can
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!
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!