The Northern Lights

In theory, it’s possible for the Northern Lights to be out every other day as long as the sky is clear. In reality, I’ve been living in the arctic circle for seven weeks, I’ve seen the lights around ten times and only three times have been really good, so when they do appear it’s still as exciting for us as it is for the guests. Every day there is a forecast for the Northern Lights, similar to a weather forecast, which uses a numbered scale to predict the chances of a good light show. There have been a few days with a forecast of 5 which, providing that the sky is clear, is very good, but it’s often ended up cloudy in the evening and we haven’t seen anything. Then there have been other days when they appear in the sky when you are least expecting them.

The best time for viewing the lights is between 11pm and 3am but a couple of weeks ago Ben came running into the house at 7:30pm to tell us that the lights were out. The lights could clearly be seen from the front of our house even with the bright streetlights. A green band arced above our heads, it was very bright and I’m sure I saw a hint of purple momentarily along the bottom of the band. The band slowly shifted across the sky towards the left and began to die down. Since they were so good so early in the evening we were all hoping they would get better later on but they either didn’t appear again or we had all fallen asleep by the time they reappeared.

It took over two weeks for the lights to appear really brightly again. They’ve been faintly visible a couple of times, once as a group of guests were boarding the bus to go home, which was really lucky for them, and once again while Ashley and I were ice skating in the evening, which was pretty magical. Last night’s light show was definitely the best I’ve seen so far, the lights filled the whole sky with a green glow, they were moving a lot and a patch of purple rippled briefly across the sky. Down by the river, away from light pollution, Ben and some of the guests saw orange in the lights. As Sean said to the guests, you know the lights are insanely good when the staff come running outside in shorts. Once again we were hoping to see different colours later on in the night but they either didn’t come out again or we all fell asleep before they did. I’m still hoping for some incredible multi coloured lights before I come back to England but the lights we have seen so far have been amazing and a privilege to encounter.

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