Abisko National Park, Day 1, around 5 PM - a place for Skiing, Cross country skiiing, Aurora Borealis watching (Sept-March) and Midnight Sun watching (May-July). Part of the reason why Abisko is rated as one of the best places in the world to view the Aurora is due this frozen lake, surronded by mountains... the clouds just stop at the mountains - leaving the lake as a “window” to the night sky... One of the first things i did when arriving in Abisko was to look for good locations for Aurora watching - locations which have little light pollution and a good view to the north
nothing like a house in the middle of nowhere...
Night 1, around 10 PM - my 3 roomates and myself decide to go looking for the lights... they actually appeared for 2 minutes as we got to the “viewing” area but disappeared before i could setup the camera. we decided to wait for more. Here, is a camera shot i took into the darkness - hoping that the camera could see what we couldnt (as it has a better eye then humans)... also - while this photo looks like just after sunset, it was actually pitch dark - the lens i was using is the reason for the “extra” light... Sadly the tripod i was using wasnt getting enough stability from the snow (and sadly still, i didnt notice it in the dark as the camera screen is smaller and shaking less noticeable then here - the pics in the 2nd night were better then the 1st night.. sadly the aurora wasnt as good in the 2nd night)
it was a beautifull night
Night 1, Around 22:20, Still not visible to eye, but my Camera caught the cloud of “green”... the aurora is here - the night was not lost (and as we were waiting 20 minutes... it was starting to get depressing especially as it was already at -10 degrees)
Night 1, 22:30, now the aurora was visible to the eye and we decided to move towards a canyon for a better angle - on the way down I took a shot at to see how the light pollution (from the nearby cabel car base to mount Njulla
Night 1, 22:35, Tobias and the Aurora
my head, a little bit of the aurora (over the right tree) and a sea of stars
Night 1, 22:35, Me & the Aurora - I was celebrating
Night 1, 23:00, now in the canyon, an aurora arc over the hill
Night 1, 23:30, we were sure the “show” was over, but then on the way back to our room, literly just outside the lodge compound - the aurora appeared in force giving an “aurora curtains” display (and it really does like curtains as the lights just dance to the shape)... as it was by surprise, my camera wasnt ready and so - i was actually holding the camera with my hands for the entire 30 seconds exposure period i set it on (it was FREEZING!!, the battery was being drained fast by the cold and no tripod meant even less stability - as the red pole on the right demonstrates - a good tripod is a must for night photography)
Night 1, 23:33, next the aurora gave us a “double curtains” display
Night 1, 23:35, i had setup my tripod again - this is the aurora above the lake (at the bottom of the pic)
Night 1, 23:37, a new aurora colour begins to form.. some orange below the green
Night 1, 23:40, Aurora - Orange, the aurora can have 4 colours, green is the most popular, Orange is the 2nd colour to appear when condition are good. the next day I checked how did we get such good lights when the season for aurora's is at an end - seems that about 4 days before this aurora, there was high solar activity on the sun that would have reached earth's pole's the previous night - making me very lucky indeed!
Day 2, Cross country skiing, near the shores of the Lake
Day 2 - Cross country skiiers (who will sometimes go for weeks) can move their backups in 4 ways: carry them on their backs, tow them using special equipment binded to their bodies, hire snowmobiles to move it for them or... hire huskies to move it for them and i encountered a convoy of 6 husky equipment movers...
Day 2, Lapporten behind me (Lapporten is the U shaped valley behind me)
the lake shore and lapporten
Mount Njulla, the straight line is the cable car that reach's 1000 meters above ground over a 2 kilometer ride, the peak of Njulla is around 1169 meters
Lapporten - gateway to Lapland, this U shape valley was shaped by a glacier, the two peaks to the right and left are Tjounatjakka mountain and Nissoncorru mountain
Skiiers on their way down from Njulla
It so high up there... its the same sort of view you get when looking out of a plane window..
Night 2, 22:00, during the day I went back to where we were the previous night and checked again the locations, also after realizing the tripod “screwed my pics” i decided to change the way i was using it - giving me more stability. this night photo can illustrate - its the same hill that in the previous night we had an aurora arc over it.
Night 2, 22:05, the moon was also looking good - above mount Njulla
Night 2, 22:25, the aurora has arrived, still not visible to the eye
Night 2, 22:30, it was cloudier then the previous night
Night 2, 22:45, Aurora under the clouds (and just above the right side of the hill)
Night 2, 23:05, We went back to where we saw the “curtains” show the previous night and again the aurora got stronger and formed an arc behind the clouds
Night 2, 23:10
Night 2, 23:20
Night 2, 23:30, the aurora above Bjorkliden (which is about 8 km to the west of Absiko national park and towards the border with norway)