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Reinebringen, Lofoten
Reinebringen, Lofoten.
Photo: Alex Conu/Visitnorway.com
Travel Trade

Northern lights won’t fade in Northern Norway

No need to worry: There won’t be less northern light in Northern Norway in the years to come, according to solar experts.


Facebook and Instagram have been glowing in green light, and tourists flock to Northern Norway to experience the magical northern lights.

Yet, there are some who claim that we won’t see much of the glimmering phenomenon in the years to come.

Because the sun is moving towards a more quiet phase, the lights will fade and appear less frequently, an article in Travel+Leisure states.

However, according to several Norwegian solar experts, this is not the case for Northern Norway.

“It is true that the sun activity has reached it’s peak and is in a declining phase. This means that we probably will have fewer observations of northern light in Southern Norway”, says Pål Brekke, solar researcher at The Norwegian Space Center.

“But as for Northern Norway, you won’t notice any difference”.

The sun has an 11-year solar cycle. In 2013, the activity reached its maximum and is currently at its tail-end. This means it will keep declining during the next three to four years, before it starts to incline again.

The solar activity effects the northern lights: An active sun infuses solar storms and other processes, which in turn creates intense northern lights, even on lower latitudes.

“But in Northern Norway, the northern lights will always be present regardless of the solar activity. This is due to the auroral oval, known as the Northern Lights’ belt, which stretches along the coast of Northern Norway”, Brekke says.

This is further confirmed by the retired northern lights researcher Truls Lynne Hansen at the Northern Lights Observatory in Tromsø.

“Scientists in Northern Finland, close to the Norwegian border, have measured the actual eruptions over a long period of time and through many 11-year cycles. They have found no correlation between these cycles and what you actually see up here in the Northern Lights oval”, Lynne Hansen says to nordnorge.com, the official tourist website for Northern Norway.

Even though there might be fewer nights with northern lights for southern parts of Norway in the years to come, this season is filled with magic in the sky:

“We have already observed northern lights several times in southern parts of Norway this fall. Much of it is due to large coronal holes, which shoots out great throws in the solar winds, which in turn generates intense northern lights”, Brekke explains.

In addition to Northern Norway, places along the Northern Lights’ belt such as Iceland and parts of Canada and Alaska, will probably see just as much of the northern light as before.

“There’s no need to worry about the solar activity. Northern Norway will still be one of the best, if not the best, place in the world to experience the northern nights”, says Asgeir Brekke, who has researched the northern lights for 25 years.

“So you can guarantee tourists amazing northern lights when they visit the north?”

“One can never quite predict the sun. And that’s what makes the northern lights so exciting: it must be chased.”

Install the NorwayLights app for Android and iPhone – a forecast that helps you find the best time and place to see the northern lights.

iPhone: Download Norway Lights for iOS
​Android: Download Norway Lights for Android
Windows: Download Norway Lights for Windows

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