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Northern Lights - have you seen them? were they what you expected?

(68 Posts)
Partyfops Wed 14-Mar-18 22:08:55

I have been to Iceland twice, not specifically to see the NLs but that was part of it at least. Both times the weather was too bad to see them.

Have you seen them? were they what you expected? an anti climax?

PeerieBreeks Wed 14-Mar-18 22:10:52

Yes I've seen them. They aren't as vibrant as the photos would make it seem. Or at least I've never seen them like that.

Cherry321 Wed 14-Mar-18 22:11:17

We saw them 3 nights running in Norway last year, was lovely to see them, but it was mainly green lights moving across the sky. Didnt see the variety of colours that you see on photos.

boxoftoads Wed 14-Mar-18 22:14:02

I live in the north of Scotland, see them a lot. Best night was coming into land at Inverness in the dark one night.

They are great grin

Grumpyoldwoman007 Wed 14-Mar-18 22:16:19

I saw them in Lapland. Colours were bright and we were lucky to have clear nights every night we were there. I was surprised at how slowly they appear but it was pretty amazing.

Greenteandchives Wed 14-Mar-18 22:17:29

Yes I’ve seen them several times in the Arctic Circle. Very exciting, but not as colourful as I expected. Mostly green, but I will never forget the experience. Also very difficult to photograph.

TittyGolightly Wed 14-Mar-18 22:18:25

Eyes don’t work like camera lenses, so they’ll never look as bright.

Was gutted when we were in the wrong place at the wrong time during a trip to Iceland in Jan 2016. Had a stop over there on the way back from the US last August and saw them!

MooseBeTimeForSnow Wed 14-Mar-18 22:19:46

I’m in Northern Canada. We see them do regularly that people can be quite blasé about them. I’ve been here seven years and still get blown away by them. Our local photography group is pretty good at catching them.

Lifeaback Wed 14-Mar-18 22:21:11

We saw them in Iceland 4 years ago. We stayed in a log cabin about a half an hours drive outside Reykjavik. We booked the trip as it was on my mums bucket list to see the northern lights (she had terminal cancer) but we all knew not to expect them, and had lots else planned to make the trip worthwhile. I was blown away, we were in the hot tub enjoying a glass of wine when we noticed the sky start to change and within 20 minutes they had started fully. I expected it to be disappointing, but I had goosebumps- they were mainly green but then towards the end these little flickers of pink started as well, I was in absolute awe.

10/10 the most magical experience Ive ever had. As cheesy as it sounds, it gave me a real appreciation for what a beautiful natural world we have when you remove human interference.

Ive heard lots of stories where people have been disappointed, we struck really lucky and had a crystal clear night and a really vibrant show that lasted a good 15/20 mins.

MooseBeTimeForSnow Wed 14-Mar-18 22:21:35

Just like this

PickleSarnie Wed 14-Mar-18 22:23:08

I've seen them twice. Both times out in the country in Aberdeenshire. Pretty cool. Imagine that further north and even further away from light pollution they would be even cooler.

Greenteandchives Wed 14-Mar-18 22:27:15

life what a lovely experience for your mum.

Hakarl Wed 14-Mar-18 22:27:55

Live in Iceland so we see them all the time in the winter. They are pretty cool but a camera can pick them up much better than the human eye so the photographs are not much like what you actually see.
You can go out on a night when you can't see any lights, take a picture of the sky and only then see that yes they are active.

Fieau Wed 14-Mar-18 22:29:59

I saw them in Finland... Absolutely incredible. A million times better than I thought they would be, I had goose bumps and felt a great sense of awe and wonder. I'm desperate to go back and see them again!

TittyGolightly Wed 14-Mar-18 22:31:43

Live in Iceland

I want to live in Iceland!

MyBrilliantDisguise Wed 14-Mar-18 22:33:50

I'm going to Iceland in November and can't WAIT to see them!

Partyfops Wed 14-Mar-18 22:40:04

Hakarl - do you see them as much in Summer?

I really want to go back to Iceland, but in Summer this time.

ademanlu Wed 14-Mar-18 22:40:24

I have seen them a couple of times on the north coast of Northern Ireland - once they were clearly visible in greens and reds and danced across the sky - other times the sky has looked white to the naked eye but picked up by camera. It is amazing to see!

Hakarl Wed 14-Mar-18 22:41:13

I'm going to Iceland in November and can't WAIT to see them!

I really hope you do but don't take it as a given. You can't see them through clouds (obviously) and Icelandic weather is generally rather shitty in November.

AndromedaPerseus Wed 14-Mar-18 22:46:04

We saw the northern lights in Cornwall, it was a rare red form apparently lots of people thought it was a blazing fire and called the fire brigade

Partyfops Wed 14-Mar-18 22:47:51

Andromeda- is that the photo you took in Cornwall.

I live in Cornwall and never thought we would see them.

Hakarl Wed 14-Mar-18 22:48:03

do you see them as much in Summer?

No not at all because it has to be dark. Summers in Iceland are constant daylight. However autumn starts in August and you can see them from then. In fact autumn is better ime as you're more likely to get clear skies. September/October are when I've seen the best ones myself. But you can always get lucky or unlucky (unless you come May-July, then chances are zero).

PeerieBreeks Wed 14-Mar-18 22:48:13

No, you won't see them much in summer as there isn't much dark to see them in.

Partyfops Wed 14-Mar-18 22:50:45

Ah thanks for the tip!!

lazydog Wed 14-Mar-18 22:53:26

See them regularly as I live in Northern BC, but as others have mentioned, don't expect them to look anything like the spectacular photos. Colours are much more muted than they appear in pics., and usually predominantly greenish hues.

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