Learn about the Northern Lights

Here you can read more information about the Northern Lights before your visit Apukka Aurora Borealis Resort in Rovaniemi, Lapland

These circumstances are the most important conditions having good chances to see the Northern Lights:

  • Visit north enough, so called auroral zone where Apukka is located, for example
  • The sky must be clear and dark
  • There cannot be too much artificial lights and light pollution around you
  • There must be open and wide visibility to the horizon from the observation point, northern direction is the most important thing
  • The solar wind has to be strong enough that the particles of the atmosphere get charged and this radiation can be seen as the Northern Lights on Earth

There are excellent circumstances to see the Northern Lights with your own eyes in Apukka

Apukka Resort is located on northern auroral zone, north of the Arctic Circle nearby the city of Rovaniemi, Lapland. There are excellent circumstances to see the Northern Lights with your own eyes in Apukka.

It is possible to see the Northern Lights from mid-August to the end of April in a dark time. There is not too much light pollution nearby Apukka Resort and the location of the place is ideal next to a big lake that offers a perfect place to observe the Northern Lights. You can even watch the sky on ice in winter time.

Most parts of the auroral zone on Earth is uninhabited area. Lapland is one of the few regions which is inhabited on auroral zone.

The Northern Lights

According to science the Northern Lights are born in the sun. However, there are a lot of old myths and beliefs what causes this mystical phenomenon.

For example, here in Finland the ancient people thought that the lights were caused by the firefox who ran so quickly across the snow that his tail caused sparks to fly into the night sky creating the Aurora. The Finnish word for the Northern Lights “revontulet” translates literally as “fire fox”. Another belief held by the Sámi people of Finnish Lapland amongst others, was that the lights were created from the spume of water ejected from whales.

The Northern Lights are caused by the solar winds that hits the Earth’s atmosphere

According to the scientific view, the Northern Lights are produced in the Earth’s upper atmosphere at a height of about 100-200 km. The electrons that are coming out of the sun collide with the ionosphere, i.e. the upper atmosphere, into the oxygen atoms and the nitrogen molecules that excite the particles of energy from the collision. The speed of the sun’s particles can be up to 1000 kilometers per second!

The color of the light is generated by the depends on the form of the charged particle and the energy received from the collision. Green and red light is generated in the oxygen atoms charging states. Nitrogen molecules generate blue light. The activity of the revontuli therefore depends on the activity of solar winds. Also the forecasts for the northwest are based on the observation of the sun.

Apukka is located on the northern auroral zone

Apukka is located on the Arctic Circle, 66.33 degrees northern latitude, which means a good location on the auroral zone.

Geomagnetic North pole is located around the 80.5 Northern Latitude. It is moving westwards, with little net north or south motion. Most Auroras occur in a band known as the auroral zone, which is typically 3–6 degrees wide in latitude and between 10–20 degrees from the geomagnetic poles.

Statistically, the Northern Lights appear on close to 80% of the nights, but due to the weather (clouds) they can be seen from the ground on approximately 40-60% nights – according to Finnish Meteorological Institute statistics.

It is a good chance to see the Northern Lights when the sky is clear in a dark time

The Northern Lights are all the time there, but the daylight prevents us from seeing them. Above the Arctic Circle chance of seeing the Northern Lights are a very good half-year period through mid-August to the end of April. Many may not know that autumn and early spring are statistically very good times for observing the Northern Lights. If it is so dark and clear that you can see stars in the sky in Apukka, there is a good chance to see the lights!

Near midnight the probability of seeing the Northern Lights is at its highest


The most likely time to see the winters is at 22-02, but in the very active night, the Northern Lights are dancing in the sky all night. Often, the Northern Lights will appear on the horizon as a misty glint for longer times, but really bright and powerful episodes can take only minutes.

The safest way to see the Northern Lights is to stay out at night when the sky is bright and wait patiently. Although the occurrence of the Northern Lights is not dependent on the temperature of the air, it is often cold in winter in the coldest nights.

Apukka Resort enables that you can quickly get out of your room to a place where the Northern Lights are clearly visible and the artificial lights do not interfere. Our guests also have a Northern Lights alert system.

Observe the Northern Lights in a warm carriage or in a dormitory cottage

Seeing the Northern Lights is not certain, but it makes them look even more exciting and unforgettable. Excursions related to the observation of the Northern Lights and photography in nature are an experience in itself.

We arrange special programs such as the Aurora Wagon, that is a warm luxury caravan, where you can also stay in the middle of nature!

The Apukka Resort also offers special accommodation in Lappish huts with heated glass ceiling that are designed for observing the Northern Lights.

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