The northern lights are back! This is what I love the most about living here. Falun is not deep north, but north enough to feature this amazing light show in the night sky every now and then. Laying at 60°N, the northern lights in Falun are rarely very intense, as it is still pretty far south if compared to other locations in the northern part of Scandinavia where people usually travel to see the aurora. Yet, 60°N is north enough to get to see this beautiful phenomenon a few times a year, whenever the intensity of a solar storm is bigger than usual and its effect impact also more southern parts of the North.
I saw my first aurora borealis one year ago, at the beginning of September; I had been in Sweden for less than a month and had impatiently waited for that moment to arrive. It happened pretty soon, earlier than I expected. I managed to see it again once during the real winter, and then I had better luck again in the spring. From my experience, late August-early September and late March-early April are the best for aurora viewing around here. Greater chances of good weather, and comparably darker nights than up north in the same period.
Yesterday it had been raining the whole afternoon, and although the effects of a massive solar storm had been promising during the day, my hopes for a clear sky that night were not so strong. Instead, when it got dark, the wind cleared up the sky and unveiled the light show. We have a friend visiting and stayed up late. Shortly before 1:00, I remembered we had forgotten to throw away the garbage (we had eaten fish and wanted to get rif of the smelly trash), so my boyfriend went down to throw it away. When he came back upstairs, he said he had glimpsed some green shades in the sky. I grabbed my camera and my friend and I headed out immediately to enjoy the show.
We didn’t venture out of town, and I took most of my photos in the parking lot in front of our house and in a field nearby. Despite the full moon and the many streetlights brightening up the scene, the aurora was quite intense and well visible. At some point it got so strong I even managed to capture it dancing over my house.
The winters up here are long, cold and dark, but the promise of such a beautiful event makes it all worth it.