What will I see?
Due to digital camera sensitivity, when you take a photo the Aurora comes out much greener and brighter than the eye will see. The human eye is just not capable of making out the vivid green color and contrast because of the faintness of the light. So what you will see with the naked eye will be less bright and more a greenish white.
Red colours are not as common as green whilst blue colour is the rarest.
Most opportune times to see the lights here are between September and April. Statistically, the periods around the Autumn (21st September)and Spring (March 21st) equinoxes are good.
How long should I stay at the Apartments?
A difficult decision to make. Obviously, the longer you stay the more chance you have of seeing the LIghts. Generally the Aurora in North Sweden appear 20 out of 30 days in a month. However, if it is cloudy you will not see them. We believe 4 or 5 nights gives you a fair chance but of course there are no guarantees. It’s a long way to come for only 1 or 2 nights but you might get lucky on your first night and see a great display. For virtually ‘guaranteed success’ allow 8 days.
When can I see the Aurora?
There are 2 periods of statistically more frequent and intense auroras: Roughly 6 weeks around 21st of September and 6 weeks around 21st of March. So that’s 3 weeks before and after but this does not mean there are none in the months between. Larger amounts of dark hours here around December/January will add more viewing opportunities. Also from 15th of February towards the end of the season in April is a good time.
Unfortunately we are in the hands of Mother Nature for the lights and for the weather. There can be no guarantees.
Is there a lot of light pollution in Porjus?
Although there is some light from the village the ambient light in a northerly direction is low making it a good place to observe.
Moon phase (light disturbance)
Moon phases do affect good viewing. The ‘Best booking dates’ are when the moon is at half or less. It does not mean you will not see anything, but the fainter auroras will drown in the moonlight glare making them harder to see.
How long do they last?
Quite unpredictable! Activity can range from faint auroras lasting several hours to intense ones lasting minutes. Part of the joy of Aurora watching is never knowing exactly what you’re going to see.
It’s all about timing! A lot of visitors that have missed the lights have been inside eating, sleeping, or watching tv. We advise on keeping your laptop/tablet etc tuned to the webcams. If we are up and about and you ask us to, we’ll give you a knock on the door when activity happens.
It also helps if you prepare yourself for a sudden dash outside. Have all your clothing ready to go, have camera settings preset, have a grab bag with extra batteries, hot drinks etc ready to go and switch of apartment lights when you go out to cut out light pollution.
Amount of dark hours
Starting from September, but we do see them towards the end of August, the skies here will get enough dark hours to see the Northern Lights. This will increase to 21st of December to the maximum of 20 hours.
After the end of March there is only 3 hours left so that realistically ends the Auroral viewing season around the Polar Circle.
How to photograph the Aurora with a digital camera?
I have detailed notes given to me by Patricia, the previous owner and professional photographer, which may help you when it comes to taking photos of the lights. I will E Mail them to you on request as they are too big to include on the website.
Coldness and tiredness in North Sweden
A main reason visitors miss out on the good shows. From the first signs of approaching Auroras you may be outside for a long time. Northern Lights are famous for lingering on the horizon for many hours before suddenly flaring up very violently. If you are inside at that moment, you missed the peak and it probably will not come again.
Our advice to be outside longer and be reasonably comfortable:
- Dress warm and dry
- Use something to sit or lie on
- Do not wear outside clothes for too long inside, they will get damp from sweat and lose insulation.
- Do not take the snow inside under the shoes. This will melt and make socks wet and unusable
- Have your dinner just before darkness..
- Have a pan of soup ready to heat up.
- Do not drink too much alcohol
- Make a watch system if you are with more persons, take a nap inside while someone is on watch.
- Patience is king
- Never go outside alone for a long time. If you feel sleepy, go inside!
- Enjoy the stars and surroundings while waiting, have a good chat, this is not what you do every day!
- Avoid bright flashlights to navigate through the snow. Red lights work great
- Avoid water based facial or lip treatment. This will actually cause frostbite