Photo: Northern Lights – Aurora Borealis shine in twilight sky of late August, Nordland, Værøy, Norway. August 19, 2023. 01:29
My prediction from last week (Friday Photo #554) came true and I saw my first northern lights of the 2023-2024 aurora season while over on Værøy for the weekend. I actually had two nights in a row of aurora, both Friday and Saturday nights. This image is from Friday night 18/19 of August and is both my first aurora of the season and also the earliest I’ve ever seen the northern lights on Lofoten – though I have also seen it on this night while floating off the east coast of Greenland in 2015.
Usually my first aurora sighting depends more on weather than the activity of the sun and I usually begin to keep an eye on the night sky beginning around August 20th. So I got a little lucky this year. And after some grey skies this week, it is looking like the weekend is going to clear up again, so hopefully there is a chance for more!
Every year with my first and last aurora sighting posts I comment a little about the still pervasive misinformation of the northern lights being solely a winter phenomenon. They are not! In fact, the northern lights are visible 8 of 12 months, or 2/3rds of the year here on Lofoten. Roughly: August 20 – April 20 – so about a month before/after the equinoxes.
While it was only a brief show that appears in the darkest hour of the night at this time of year, the quickly darkening sky will soon allow the northern lights to appear earlier in the evening with each passing week. And while there were a dozen or so other motorhomes/vans parked on the old airport runway on Værøy this night, I was the only one out enjoying the show…
Head over to my Instagram account for (almost) daily postings of the local conditions here on Lofoten: @distant.north
Nikon 14-30mm f/4