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Ursa Astronomical Association

Active aurora band - 18.9.2018 at 23.15 - 19.9.2018 at 02.30 Uttakleiv, Lofootit, Norja Observation number 78030

Visibility III / V

Reposting and birding

This autumn's filming trip with a couple of filming friends went first to Kilpisjärvi for a couple of nights and to Lofoten for four nights. Although photographing the northern lights, especially in the Lofoten Islands, was one of the goals of the trip, this time the environment provided such a stunning setting that small day trips were also made during the day to various parts of the archipelago.

A couple of days before the trip, the effect of the sun's Corona opening wind had already subsided on arrival in the north and the expected values were not high for northern lights. That was the case, and although we had managed to see a few arcs in a couple of evenings, the best moments were left behind the clouds.

Tuesday 18.9. was great for the weather all day and the same continued in the evening. Although the Kp forecast showed a modest Kp 2 level for the night, we drove to Uttakleiv beach to wait for what to come. As the sky darkened, my own attention was stolen by the amazingly beautiful Milky Way. The delicate greenery was also noticeable to the naked eye, especially in the northern half of the sky.

A little after midnight, the activity of the repos increased and we got to watch even bright claims and rays from time to time, however, most of the time the going was pretty calm. However, the reposting limited to only a part of the sky made it possible to take a vertical panoramic image of the Milky Way with repos, which can rarely be properly described.

The Lofoten were remembered as a particularly beautiful environment and I am sure I will return there again.

More similar observations
Additional information
  • Aurora brightness
    • Bright auroras
  • Colors with unaided eye and other features
    • Red coloration of the shapes top info

      Auroras which have red top part that can be seen with naked eye are most often observed in the bands and long rays. In this case the lower parts are usually green. If the upper parts are in sunlight, red may be stronger than green. This shade of red is due to the discharge of the excitation state of the atomic oxygen.

      Aurora that shift to reddish towards the top. Photo by Karri Pasanen. 

      Red top in a aurora band. Photo by Simo Aikioniemi.

      Red at the top of the aurora. Picture of Tom Eklund.

    • Green auroras info

      Green, seen with the naked eye, is one the most common colors of the aurora. The green color is derived from atomic oxygen.

      Green auroras. Lea Rahtu-Korpela.

      Green auroras. Photo by Juha Ojanperä.

  • Observed aurora forms
    • Veil info

      Veil is the most bland and very common form of aurora. It usually covers its homogeneous dim glow over a wide area of the sky at once. Most often, the veil is seen in the calmer and quiet phase of the night after the aurora maximum as a background for other forms. The veil can also occur alone and in that case it will be quite difficult to reliably identify as an aurora, especially at a observation site which has a lot of light pollution.

      A similar glow of light can also be caused by airborne moisture, smoke, or a very thin layer of clouds that reflects the light that hits them. However, clouds can also be used to identify veil, especially if the middle or upper cloud appears dark against a lighter background, then it is very likely to be aurora veil if the brightness of the background sky is not due to the rising or falling Moon or Sun. When photographing, very long exposure times usually reveal the green colour of the veil auroras.

      Veil and rays. Photo by Esa Palmi.

      Red aurora veil. Photo by Marko Mikkilä.


      Veil. Photo by Milla Myllymaa.


      Aurora veil that changes color from green at the lower edge through purple to blue at the top. Photo by Jaakko Hatanpää.


      Dim green veil. Photo by Jarmo Leskinen.


      Radial aurora band surrounded by veil. Photo by Jussi Alanenpää.

    • Rays info

      The raysare parallel to the lines of force of the magnetic field, i.e. quite vertical, usually less than one degree thick light streaks. The rays can occur alone or in connection with other shapes, mainly with arcs and bands. Short rays are usually brightest at the bottom but dim quickly. The longest rays, even extending almost from the horizon to the zenith, are usually uniformly bright and quite calm, and unlike the shorter rays, most often occur in groups of a few rays or alone. Rays, like bands, are a very typical form of aurora.

      Artificial light pillars, which are a halo phenomenon visible in ice mist, can sometimes be very similar to the rays of aurora. Confusion is possible especially when the lamps that cause the artificial light pillars are far away and not visible behind buildings or the forest. The nature of the phenomenon is clear at least from the photographs.

      Rays. Picture of Tom Eklund.

      Rays. Photo by Mika Puurula.

      Two beams rise from the aurora veil. Photo by Anssi Mäntylä.

      Two radial bands. Show Jani Lauanne.

      Radial band and veil. Photo by Jussi Alanenpää.

      Two rays. Photo by Aki Taavitsainen.

      It may be possible to confuse such rays with artificial light columns. Compare the image below. Picture of Tom Eklund.

      There is no aurora in this image, but all the light poles - including the wide and diffuse bar seen at the top left - are artificial light pillars born of ice mist. Photo by Sami Jumppanen.

      Aurora and artificial light pillars. All the radial shapes in the picture above are probably artificial light pillars that coincide appropriately with the aurora band. In the image below, the aurora band has shifted and does not overlap with the pillars produced by the orange bulbs. There is no orange in auroras. Photo by Katariina Roiha

    • Band info

      Bands are usually narrower, more twisty at the bottom, brighter, and more active than arches. Bands usually develop from arches.

      Bands can form J and U shapes, sometimes even full spirals. The corona can also arise from bands. Bands are a fairly common form of aurora.

      Aurora band. Photo by Merja Ruotsalainen.

      Aurora band. Photo by Matias Takala.

      Aurora band. Photo by Lea Rahtu-Korpela.

      Aurora bands. Photo by Lauri Koivuluoma.

      Aurora band. Photo by Matias Takala.

    • Arc info

      ARC The arcs are wider than the bands and do not fold as strongly. The arcs are normally neither very bright nor active.

      The arc is probably the most common form of aurora. When aurora show is a calm arc in the low northern sky it often doesn’t evolve to anything more during night. In more active shows the arc is often the first form to appear and the last to disappear.

      The lower edge of the arc is usually sharp but the upper edge can gradually blend into the background sky. As activity increases rays and folds normally develop, and the arcs turn gradually into bands.

      An aurora arc runs across the picture. Vertical shapes are rays. Photo by Atacan Ergin.

      Aurora Arc. Photo by Mauri Korpi.

      Aurora Arc. Photo by Anna-Liisa Sarajärvi.

      Aurora Arc. Photo by Matti Asumalahti.

Comments: 9 pcs
Jouni Hovi - 30.9.2018 at 19.57 Report this


Olli Sälevä - 30.9.2018 at 21.25 Report this

Ihan komeaa näinkin. Mitä lie sitten paremmalla reposkelillä?

Pirjo Koski - 30.9.2018 at 23.47 Report this

Upeaa, Karri :) Kuten aina. 

Jani Päiväniemi - 1.10.2018 at 06.12 Report this

Hienot kuvat komeissa maisemissa!

Antero Ohranen - 1.10.2018 at 08.03 Report this

Mahtavat kuvat ja hienoa työskentelyä!

Matti Helin - 1.10.2018 at 12.07 Report this

No nyt. Aivan mahtavia. 

Kari Rytilahti - 1.10.2018 at 17.55 Report this

Lofootit on upea paikka !  Komeat on kuvat ja upeaa jälkeä. Ykköskuva todella huikea.  

Timo Alanko - 1.10.2018 at 18.26 Report this

Lofootit on kyllä huikea paikka. Yhtä huikeita kuvauspaikkoja löytyy myös rv 17 varrelta Mo i Ranan ja Bodön väliltä. Kesällä huikea maisematie!

Karri Pasanen - 1.10.2018 at 23.44 Report this

Kiitokset! Suosittelen kyllä Lofootteja retkikohteeksi. Näin syksyllä on kyllä monenlaista katsottavaa ja kuvattavaa. Eikä Atlantin vesi ollut vielä ihan täysin uimakelvotonta :D!

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