16 March 2017
Northern Lights

When are Auroras visible at Arctic Haven?

The aurora borealis was once the centerpoint for many a legend. The dancing lights were often interpreted as spirits of animals and humans alike. Inuit stories told of the northern lights as spirits of the dead playing a game with a walrus skull as the "ball". 

Arctic Haven is a great place for aurora borealis viewing - seasonally, the northern lights generally begin mid/late August and continue through until mid-April every year. 

Arctic Haven under the northern lights

As summer comes to a close in late August, the 24-hour daylight dissapears to have night claim once again - autumn skies are calm and cool. This is the perfect start for the aurora season at Arctic Haven. The aurora belt, or solar activity that creates the aurora, runs as a band across the central and lower Arctic. Arctic Haven is often right in the middle of the Aurora band. An aurora is often created from solar flaring - energy particles relased from the sun in a steady beam called "solar wind". These particles collide with earth's magnetic fields and often trigger the release of particles in the upper atmosphere - causing oxygen and nitrogen particles to release photons of light. The Aurora Borealis. 

Nasa has a great example of what exactly the aurora band is - this beautiful photograph was captured in 4K from a satellite: 

Autumn skies are often best at Arctic Haven due to the minimal cloud coverage - August and September cloud coverage is often far lower than later months such as October/November. While there is no defined average time for aurora viewing, the northern lights can often begin at sunset, as per the great shot below, captured over Ennadai Lake by Nansen Weber. Notice the orange sun setting in the back. Looking to visit in the aurora season? Try our Autumn Discovery Experiences

Now, how do I photograph the aurora borealis? What gear do I need? Simple - a wide camera lens (for example, 16mm), long exposure (15 to 30 sec), a flashlight (makes for great focal points!) and a camera with a wide sensor (it will let more light in). 

The lights left on in the dining room at Arctic Haven give a great definition to the lodge.