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blu-by-u
10th September 2018, 03:33 PM
Trying to fulfill my bucket list. I tried that at Finland but the display was :o

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/586/31614565905_f8b62aeeb4_n.jpg

Was at a travel fair and was told by one travel agent that Iceland have better chances compared to Finland but another travel company says Finland have better. BUT neither was willing to give money back on it. I am a tat skeptical on the company trying to sell the Finland to me stating that in 90 trips last year, only 1 group didn't see it.

Like the milkway, I know that it's not possible to see if the moon is full and high in the sky. I could be wrong.

I don't want to fork out my savings for another trip failed trip. So any advice on which country I should put my saving on?

Or maybe just go to Canada. :eek: But for me to get to Canada would be more than double the amount to Europe.:eek:

TimP
10th September 2018, 03:41 PM
Iceland is supposed to be worth a try. We fancy a trip there anyway so the Northern Lights would be an excellent bonus. Had a brief glimpse in Canada, right down offf the coast in BC, but it was a bit ‘blink and you’ll miss it’. Certainly nothing like the spectacular displays often pictured.

Whoops, you’d already mentioned Iceland, sorry!

Rawcoll
10th September 2018, 04:02 PM
I know where you're coming from, but whether I'll ever get around to seeing them in person is another matter :<(

However, I've come across this website (https://lightsoverlapland.com/) with fantastic webcam images with very regular aurorae, whenever darkness sets in. Even 17 hours ago they were visible! They also do photo holidays.

Jim Ford
10th September 2018, 05:27 PM
Andy Stables on the Isle of Skye in Scotland is well 'clued up' on aurora:

https://aurora-alerts.uk/

He also show aurora alerts for Iceland and Europe.

If you go to the bottom of the page there's an info button that gives Facebook links (I don't subscribe to Facebook, but maybe you do.)

Jim

Naughty Nigel
10th September 2018, 10:05 PM
The north of Scotland is well worth a try. If you don't see the aurora you can still enjoy it.

I fancy taking a rail trip up there sometime. That would be a double bonus. :)

DerekW
11th September 2018, 08:25 AM
Hurtigruten run a 11 day ferry service from Bergen to Kirkenes in Norway. They run every day. Take the trip in winter and you have an incredible good chance of seeing the Northern Lights. They will often give a free voyage if you do not see the lights during the trip.

TimP
11th September 2018, 08:30 AM
11 days right round the north of Norway?? You’re more likely to see your own stomach lining during that trip! You’ll be praying for an early death long before you see the Northern Lights!
Joking aside, it would be a fantastic trip if you had decent (calm!) weather, amazing wildlife surely?

Jim Ford
11th September 2018, 08:49 AM
11 days right round the north of Norway?? Youíre more likely to see your own stomach lining during that trip! Youíll be praying for an early death long before you see the Northern Lights!
Joking aside, it would be a fantastic trip if you had decent (calm!) weather, amazing wildlife surely?

Yeah - we've all seen wartime films of convoys going around the North Cape. Mountainous seas, snow and chipping ice off the superstructure. Though I guess you won't need to avoid U-Boats nowadays!

Jim

TimP
11th September 2018, 09:04 AM
Jim, you’ve made my point very succinctly, although having been seasick on several occasions, not as many I hasten to add as my long suffering wife, I suspect an active U-Boat could come as a welcome solution to the problem!

DerekW
11th September 2018, 09:27 AM
Ho ho ho
I see the clowns have been let out for a walk.

I did the trip a few years back but in the Summer - I do not like cold weather. However some friends from Florida did the trip in November /December one year, they saw the lights on several occasions.

As the service is a "postal service it calls in at about 30 ports on the way up and down delivering and collecting goods and people. The longest section on "open" sea was about 5 hours, apart from that it is inshore sailing never far from land.

Apart from the postal service the ships take up to about a thousand cruise passengers who get an excellent cruise service.

Jim Ford
11th September 2018, 09:58 AM
Jim, you’ve made my point very succinctly, although having been seasick on several occasions, not as many I hasten to add as my long suffering wife, I suspect an active U-Boat could come as a welcome solution to the problem!

A friend of mine's father was on a destroyer, escorting convoys around the North Cape to Murmansk. The Russian Embassy recently awarded him and the other the crews the 'Arctic Star' medal. We took him to Chatham historic dockyard a few years ago and they treated him like a hero. I guess that if the OP (Henry) goes around the North Cape, the Russians won't award him the medal, even though he'll be a hero!
;)

Jim

Jim Ford
11th September 2018, 10:01 AM
However some friends from Florida did the trip in November /December one year, they saw the lights on several occasions.

What, reflected in the sea as they leaned over the side throwing up?
;)

Jim

TimP
11th September 2018, 10:12 AM
Apart from the postal service the ships take up to about a thousand cruise passengers who get an excellent cruise service.

...and at this point (a thousand passengers) I delete the link I saved for future reference.
Sorry but this isnít for us, I appreciate the bigger the ship the less chance of rough weather affecting stability but weíre not old enough to go on such a huge ship. I donít know what I imagined but I was attracted by the Lights and didnít consider the reality.
Looks like it still might be Iceland then, Iíd better get writing those emails to the various Icelandic government departments to express my disgust at their continued whaling activities.

Crazy Dave
11th September 2018, 10:40 AM
Have a look at the web site of discover-the-world.com. Based in the UK and very good at what they do. I enquired about their trips and they sent me a free copy of a book titled Northern Lights by Polly Evans. A slim paperback, full of information and even a section on photography. We didn’t go in the end because my wife cannot stand the cold.

Disclaimer: I worked in the travel business for 15 years and got to know the founders of discover the world and thought them to be highly ethical. They are also members of the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) so you get financial protection.

Good Luck!

David

Wally
11th September 2018, 12:14 PM
Some years back, 2011/12, I took a return cruise around the North Cape in Norway.

One thing to remember is, that seeing the lights cannot be guaranteed.The Lady Aurora is, by nature, very elusive. Try this link -- > https://www.hurtigruten.co.uk/inspiration/experiences/northern-lights/

This is the cruise line I used - Polarlys - was the ship I was on – and, I was very impressed by the customer service standards of the crew… the meals were also excellent.

The web-site map shows the stops en-route with free time on shore and extra options to be had for a price.

blu-by-u
11th September 2018, 02:07 PM
Rough seas :( :eek:

I think I will stay with flights and solid ground.

This is very interesting and I have lots of time, about 8 months to plan which country. Seems the Norway is a better bet so far. Please keep the suggestions and stories coming in. Should you have some nice (or not so nice) stories and photos please share.

Thanks in advance. :D

Jim Ford
11th September 2018, 04:37 PM
This is very interesting and I have lots of time, about 8 months to plan which country. Seems the Norway is a better bet so far. Please keep the suggestions and stories coming in. Should you have some nice (or not so nice) stories and photos please share.

I strongly recommend that you have a look at the link I posted earlier:

https://aurora-alerts.uk/

You can select Iceland, UK or Europe and see actual live reports by aurora watchers. You will then get a feel of what may be the best location for you.

Jim

Wally
11th September 2018, 05:41 PM
@ blu-by-u

Not sure how this would work in your personal situation> Check to see if they still offer the special deal if the lights don't show?

blu-by-u
12th September 2018, 05:26 AM
I strongly recommend that you have a look at the link I posted earlier:

https://aurora-alerts.uk/

You can select Iceland, UK or Europe and see actual live reports by aurora watchers. You will then get a feel of what may be the best location for you.

Jim

Very interesting App. Taking for instance as of now, Iceland do not even show any while north UK have 3 and Norway have 1 and Finland have 1. Thanks for that app.


@ blu-by-u

Not sure how this would work in your personal situation> Check to see if they still offer the special deal if the lights don't show?

Unfortunately none of the M'sian tour companies do not offer any moneyback. I have seen some Lapland companies offering this.

birdboy
14th September 2018, 06:32 PM
Trying to fulfill my bucket list. I tried that at Finland but the display was :o

I don't want to fork out my savings for another trip failed trip. So any advice on which country I should put my saving on?

Or maybe just go to Canada. :eek: But for me to get to Canada would be more than double the amount to Europe.:eek:

Henry as long as you are in the Aurora belt the rest is down to luck there can be no guarantees. Best advise is where ever you are if its not too overcast set up your camera and check in live view for signs of the Auroro.

I have tried 3 locations
1 Alaska -Fairbanks weather did not accommodate.
2 Iceland - Reykjavik had a 2-3 show
3 Canada - Churchill had the best show even though there was a full moon.

Examples Alaska Chena Hot Springs kp1-2 but overcast
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/M5170049.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/100256)

Iceland Thingvellir National Park, kp 2-3 some cloud
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/P1260723.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/100257)

Canada Churchill full moon! kp 3-4
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/B8240321.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/100255)

blu-by-u
15th September 2018, 01:33 AM
Henry as long as you are in the Aurora belt the rest is down to luck there can be no guarantees. Best advise is where ever you are if its not too overcast set up your camera and check in live view for signs of the Auroro.

I have tried 3 locations
1 Alaska -Fairbanks weather did not accommodate.
2 Iceland - Reykjavik had a 2-3 show
3 Canada - Churchill had the best show even though there was a full moon.


Sinsei John, humble disciple awaits.:D

Settings? LiveView, LiveBulb, LiveComp or just Bulb? or timed?

infinity focus, f2.8, ISO200?:o

Jim Ford
15th September 2018, 10:43 AM
Lots of aurora reported in Scotland last night.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/aurora.png (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/100261)

Never seen them down here though!

Jim

birdboy
15th September 2018, 05:29 PM
Sinsei John, humble disciple awaits.:D

Settings? LiveView, LiveBulb, LiveComp or just Bulb? or timed?

infinity focus, f2.8, ISO200?:o
Similar to milkyway focus to infinity, NR off and RAW but use shutter speed between 5-15 secs. 10 sec is good starting point if the lights are very frisky lower the shutter (5s) if they move slowly increase the shutter speed (15s), adjust ISO for brightness. Use time Lapse settings with movie on full HD/5fps. Frames set to circa 60 frames or longer will give 12 sec video. I also give it a 5 sec delayed start. Practice using time lapse before as it takes a bit of practice to get it going. You need to have the box showing [Time Lapse Settings On] and then half press shutter button. Once back to liveview press shutter all the way down to start sequence.

You will get all the RAW images saved plus a HD video which will give the best show of the lights activity. You can then choose which of the RAW files to use to develop.

Cannot stress enough its requires more luck than milkyway as it requires solar corona activity a few days before and clear skies. Try and pick a good landscape backdrop as well. Look for web sites that give aurora activity in kp.

Aurora in the UK is possible but I would not recommend coming here just to try for Aurora. I think Iceland is the best chance on one of the many Aurora holidays. They take you out to darker skies and if they are not active some take you out another day or give something back. But read the small print and know what you can expect to see with your eyes and just how much more the camera sees.

Naughty Nigel
16th September 2018, 12:20 PM
I have said this before, but we occasionally see the Aurora from our back garden in Co. Durham, so you don't necessarily have to leave the country.

Search for St Mary's Lighthouse Aurora (Newcastle) and you will see dozens of spectacular displays. It is just a matter of luck, and being in the right place at the right time!

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/Northern_Lights_17-3061139.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/93955)

birdboy
16th September 2018, 01:53 PM
This is a great image for the uk and is ok for us that live in certain parts of the UK but Henry (blu-by-u) lives in Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Living near the equator I thought he was after some advise of where he could go to get the best chance of seeing/ photographing the Aurora.

If you get an Aurora display that can be seen in the UK then it will appear even more spectacular if you were in Alaska, Findland, Norway or Iceland as it will probably be of 5+kp index.

Jim Ford
16th September 2018, 03:39 PM
I believe that photographs of aurora are far more spectacular than are seen at the same time by the eye.

I think Henry (blu-by-u) found it so when he want to Norway(?) a year or two ago. He was disappointed with what he saw with the naked eye, but his photos turned out OK after a bit of PP.

Jim

Naughty Nigel
16th September 2018, 03:43 PM
I believe that photographs of aurora are far more spectacular than are seen at the same time by the eye.

I think Henry (blu-by-u) found it so when he want to Norway(?) a year or two ago. He was disappointed with what he saw with the naked eye, but his photos turned out OK after a bit of PP.

Jim

Yes this is true, and I have said the same here before.

The aurora that we photographed at home were much more visible to the camera than to the naked eye. I would be interested to see what a film camera would make of the aurora as the spectral sensitivity of colour film is probably quite different to that of a CCD sensor. For a start, CCD's are sensitive to infra red light, which I don't think film is in the same way.

Naughty Nigel
16th September 2018, 03:54 PM
This is a great image for the uk and is ok for us that live in certain parts of the UK but Henry (blu-by-u) lives in Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Living near the equator I thought he was after some advise of where he could go to get the best chance of seeing/ photographing the Aurora.

If you get an Aurora display that can be seen in the UK then it will appear even more spectacular if you were in Alaska, Findland, Norway or Iceland as it will probably be of 5+kp index.

Not necessarily. There are many factors which dictate how visible the aurora will be, so the fact that we get good displays in the northeast of England doesn't necessarily mean that those same displays will be better in another country.

The chances of seeing a good display are so hit and miss that I would rather head to a place that I wanted to visit anyway (like the Shetland Islands or the far north of Scotland), and if I saw the aurora it would be a bonus. At least that way I wouldn't leave totally disappointed if the lights didn't show.

birdboy
16th September 2018, 04:23 PM
I agree strictly speaking there are so many other factors but the closer your are under or near the belt gives much better clearer displays. Its best to study the one of the many websites showing Aurora activity maps for the night and location in question but they are only forecasts.

Naughty Nigel
16th September 2018, 09:26 PM
Seems the Norway is a better bet so far. Please keep the suggestions and stories coming in. Should you have some nice (or not so nice) stories and photos please share.

Thanks in advance. :D

Norway is a wonderful country to visit with or without the aurora, but be warned, it is very very expensive!

You would probably need to visit Norway during the winter to see the aurora. On the plus side most of Norway is bathed in darkness all day long around mid-winter, but on the downside it is dark all day long so you won't see much other than the aurora! :)

Conversely, around mid-summer there is very little darkness to speak of so you are unlikely to see the aurora then.

On a separate subject, the aurora tend to come and go in eleven year cycles corresponding with sunspot activity. Aurora still appear during the eleven year 'quiet' spells but are less frequent and less intense.

I am not an expert on this, but I was under the impression that we were nearing the end of the current aurora season, so we might be heading for a quiet spell.

Naughty Nigel
10th October 2018, 02:40 PM
For those hunting the aurora, this photograph was taken on the North East coast of England yesterday evening.

I hope you can see it.

https://scontent.flhr2-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/43693514_10156389698853141_5712936085756051456_o.j pg?_nc_cat=106&oh=57c9689c0d1bcc4895653de83e8464d4&oe=5C53BB3E

TimP
10th October 2018, 02:45 PM
Excellent, and the building has at least two faces!