Who needs sleep?

The northern lights have been extremely active, and I went out to watch them last Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, usually staying up until 4 in the morning. On Monday I needed a break, but when they forecasted an extreme aurora event last night, I knew I couldn’t stay home! I convinced Paul to come with me, luring him with promises of “the best aurora since 2003″… We left the house at 19:00, with very bright auroras dancing overhead. Even with all the city lights, I could watch them from the car, and it was so impressive. It took us a while to find a good place to take photos – and guess what, the northern lights were completely gone by then…

Eelke en Roy soon joined us, and we sat up a nice tea party on some deserted parking place in a valley not far from Tromsø. It was really dark there, and we impatiently waited for the lights to come back. And we waited… and waited… and waited… and we got very cold feet. We started taking silly photos to entertain ourselves…

The things you do when you are bored of waiting for the aurora... there is actually a vague green glow on the horizon but we could hardly see that with our eyes

After 2 hours of hopefully watching the vague green glow on the horizon, we decided to give up and go home. After about 10 minutes of driving, the sky was suddenly filled with auroras again :D We quickly stopped at a nearby beach and gazed in amazement at the aurora dancing and moving and twirling very brightly, all over the sky. So impressive!

Beautiful green snake :) The aurora was moving very quickly here, you can see the ripples in the curtain on the right

There were a few clouds around, sometimes obscuring the northern lights, but I think they also add some depth to the images.

A huge spiral formed in the sky Roy, Eelke and Paul gazing at the northern lights

We spent about an hour on the beach. On the way back, the northern lights kept dancing around, and we had another quick photostop at Telegrafbukta for some final photos.

Northern lights from Telegrafbukta

After so many nights with very little sleep, I’m happy the northern lights are taking a break. But even if they were disco-dancing in all the colours of the rainbow, I would stay at home tonight. Or would I? :)

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7 Responses to “Who needs sleep?”

  1. Ben says:

    So beautiful, and that timelapse video in your previous blog is just stunning. Aurora activity was even forecast in southern England last night, for apparently the first time in 12 years, and certainly the first time I remember. Typically it also happened to be a night of thick cloud and fog, but I think they got a glimpse in northern England and Scotland.

  2. Martha says:

    No, you wouldn’t stay home. You’d go and enjoy the show and take pics. WOW!! Love those spirals. Best bright pics of aurora you have taken. What is that structure in the background behind Paul? Is is an oil pump? It looks like a shute for rock crushing or concrete factory? mmm…interesting. Good pic of aurora fans. Too bad the sunstorm did not effect greater aurora shows. I can’t complain though. Thanks for sharing your version of Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

    • Hanneke says:

      Well, just 5 minutes after I wrote the blog, they were dancing ALL over the sky again. I stepped outside the front door and watched them for a while, but I didn’t go out to take photos. I was simply too tired after too many short nights :D
      I think there will be more opportunities to see the aurora further south during this and the next winter – but I guess Las Vegas might have too much light pollution? :D
      The structure behind Paul is actually a digger… funny you ask, when I first saw the profile in the parking lot, I also thought it was a shute! We were at some big building site, but no idea what they were building there…

  3. Susan says:

    Awesome photos! We had the most amazing light show here this past weekend. It was the first time I’d ever seen reds! I posted a bunch of photos in my blog a couple of days ago, and my blog crashed from too much traffic! It was amazing!

    I love your mountains. They really make the photos so much more beautiful.

    • Hanneke says:

      Thanks Susan! Yes I did see your incredible photos, probably was one of the persons crashing your blog :D Wow! I think the aurora is quite popular these days, the timelapse that I put on youtube has been viewed almost 9000 times in just 5 days! Luckily that won’t make youtube crash, and I don’t get nearly as much traffic on my blog ;)
      Finding good foregrounds here is quite easy – I love that!

      • Hanneke says:

        PS There were red auroras here too, but unfortunately I missed those!! I did see them once in October, and also the very first time I saw them in the Netherlands, they were blood red… so beautiful!