Hunting the Northern Lights


Just ready for the New Year. Seen in Norway. The other kind of fireworks.

Post Scriptum. The following days, we did not see any green ribbons with a naked eye. Only our cameras were able to detect the green particles. We realized the presence of a green ribbon only after having seen final photographs. Forecasts we followed turned around far fetched even with the sky clear.

For most days, we saw communiques like ‘go’ and ‘try,’ but there was absolutely nothing green in the sky even if checked with a professional photo camera. After many hours of ride on one day, we only lost time and in the aftermath the whole day. Why? Because my fellows trusted a web page, an unreliable one. With my patience lost, I finally compared the web pages as I would do it doing a regular academic search of sources. Most of those pages are, in fact, run by private people who do not gather any original data. They rely on a US governmental service. So I visited the original source and compared the content. Even with good weather, we were not supposed to see anything. According to Americans, the indices (KP) were that low that at our latitude (corresponding to KP 2), nothing should be seen in the skies, and even if something were there for a moment, only a susceptible camera on long exposure would see something green in the skies. With a naked eye, even in the dark, it would not be possible. So, a piece of short advice: if in Northern Norway under KP 2 – if you want to see a dancing green ribbon – do not assume you would see it below KP=4-5. With a naked eye, you will see something green in the sky on KP=3-4.

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Hunting the Northern Lights