Polar Nights and Northern Lights in Tromso, Northern Norway

The Arctic is special.  It’s remote, it’s wild, it’s serene and it’s stunningly beautiful.

It is where two extraordinary natural phenomena occur – the Midnight Sun and the Northern Lights. To us mortals, these natural phenomena are spectral experiences.

In November 2016 I was lucky enough to experience the Northern Lights.

Tromso lies 69ºN, which means it is well inside the Arctic Circle (66ºN). It is one of the best places on earth to see the Northern Lights.  You need dark skies and clear nights to see the mesmerizing and tantalizing Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). They appear from space in different formations and glide across the sky, almost imperceiveably changing shape. If you are lucky you will also see them dancing. The human eye only detects them as neutral light with a slight tinge of green or yellow but a camera’s sensors can pick out the magical luminescent greens, pinks and yellows. The Northern Lights are silent, powerful and addictive.

                                Northern Lights, Tromso November 2016

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Polar Nights are another exceptional phenomena that occur in Tromso from 26 November for 10 weeks. This is when the sun never rises above the horizon and so Tromso expereinces twilight from 1000 – 1330 hours. The rest of the time it is in darkness. Twilight feels like hibernation – the pace of life slows down and noise is softened. It coincides with lots of snow.

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The Arctic Circle is the point on the earth’s surface where there is one day a year with total darkness for 24 hours and one day a year with 24 hours sunlight.

In June 2017 I am escorting a party up to Svalbard (Spitsbergen)  for a special Polar Bear and Arctic Wildlife cruise where we shall experience the Midnight Sun.

Images – Rob Warr & Tromos Safaris