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Northern Lights

I am currently in Reykjavik on my way back to the US. I thought I'd stop off and get a hot dog.

This is my fourth time here. The first three in late October and mid November over three different years were to see the northern lights. But the weather never cooperated.

I thought it was way too early in the season to see them now. But I was wrong. They were out tonight.

My hotel room has a balcony and it faces north. Perfect viewing location considering it's 38 degrees F and I could always slip back in to warm up.

Another item to cross off the bucket list.

Posted by
2127 posts

.......and it is always extra nice when it is unplanned and unexpected.

I saw them when our plane was beginning its descent into Reykjavik in late August several years ago. At first I thought they were weird-colored flashes from lightening or something, then other passengers (many locals) started pointing and talking about the Northern Lights, which that night were pink/orange/yellow. Still sort of doubtful, I later Googled to find out, yep, they can be those colors, too. Maybe someday I will see the green/blue/purple variety.
Happy for you that you got to see them :) Enjoy your time in Iceland.

Posted by
4474 posts

Congratulations on getting a tough bucket list item.

Posted by
91 posts

Sounds wonderful! What hotel did you stay at, sounds like it has a great orientation of its rooms! I would like to book there.

There really isn't a 'season' to see the aurora, it happens all year round at all times of day, depending on if there has been a strong solar wind event in the direction of Earth. The charged particles from the sun interact with the earth's magnetic fields and emit the colors that you see. It's just gotta be dark enough for you to see them. That's why we think they only happen in the winter, but really it's the fact that winter brings the long dark nights as the earth tilts away from the sun.

Galileo coined the term Aurora Borealis in 1619.

I love to watch this live webcam of the northern lights over Lapland, which I can watch from my desk when it's nighttime there, 9 hours ahead (it has two cams, one is a still shot every five minutes and one is streaming live):

https://lightsoverlapland.com/aurora-webcam/

Posted by
115 posts

Huh. Missed that; guess we were outside too early.
Will check again tomorrow night.
Thanks for heads up.

Saw them in northern Maine years ago, there was more like waves of rainbows across northern horizon. We sometimes see them in Vermont. Oddly there, we get whitish waves more than the full on green lights.

Thanks for the reminder.

Posted by
273 posts

Frank! I'm so happy for you, what a wonderful surprise! I went last year with a group of friends, four first timers. We had a spectacular show of them, but I think they didn't realize how rare that was to see it first trip and how fortunate they really were.

I hope you had a great hot dog too!! I can't go to Reykjavik without hitting up the hot dog stand! Jealous:-)

Posted by
2242 posts

We just got back from our 4th trip. One night, the aurora forecast was very low, a 2 or 2.5, but we ended up having a phenomenal light show right there in Reykjavik! You could see the greens very easily with the naked eye even. We got some amazing photos with just our iPhones.

The next night we went out on a NL tour with Aurora Experts. Heimer is a one man show, and I truly cannot say enough good about him. He was great to work with from booking onward, even changing the date due to the forecast. He is also the only operation that has winter jumpsuits to wear in case you are cold. He had tripods for your use, where other companies charge for it. He also takes photos and emails all of them to you and you can do whatever you like with them, you do not have to buy them per se. He was excellent all the way around!