Northern Lights

Exclusive Observations

The enchanting dance of the Northern Lights in the sky delights visitors and residents from early autumn until the end of winter. Northern Lapland is one of the best places in the world to observe the Northern Lights, as it is located just below the Aurora Oval. Here, you simply have to come and see this beauty with your own eyes, to listen to the silence, and to discover this "otherworldly" experience, with the risk of wanting to stay forever!

Celestial Magic in the Heart of Lapland

This phenomenon, unique to the polar region, occurs when particles accelerated by the Earth's magnetic field collide with particles suspended in the air. Inari-Saariselkä is ideally located under the auroral oval, which means you have a very high chance of being able to admire the spectacle of the Northern Lights in the region. On average, the Northern Lights are visible in Inari-Saariselkä up to 200 nights per year, from September to April, when the sky is clear and sufficiently dark.

The Northern Lights, how do they work?

A Northern Lights, or aurora borealis, is a beautiful and colorful light phenomenon that occurs regularly in the night sky of the Northern Hemisphere.

The Northern Lights are formed when there is a collision between:

  • Charged particles (electrons and protons)
  • The gases in the Earth’s upper atmosphere.

These collisions generate tiny bursts of light that fill the sky with colorful veils. Billions of glimmers appear, giving the impression that the aurora is moving or “dancing” in the sky.

It is the Earth’s magnetic field that guides the charged particles towards the poles. The shape of the Earth’s magnetic field creates two auroral ovals above the North and South magnetic poles. This is why auroras occur almost every night in the northern sky, from August to May.

When the solar wind paints the sky of Lapland

The Earth's magnetic field forms an invisible shield that protects us, including against solar wind. Periodically, the solar wind intensifies. It penetrates the Earth's magnetic field, and the flow of particles interacting with the gases in the magnetic field (the magnetosphere) creates spectacular auroras.

Inari is situated just below the auroral oval.

The Northern Lights appear in the area located below a large ring that is centered around the Earth's magnetic North Pole. This means that if you travel to a location just below this ring, or auroral oval (the green band in the image below), then you maximize your chances of seeing the Northern Lights, even when the activity is very low.

The auroral oval when the predicted activity is low: you can see that Inari is located just below the green band, almost guaranteeing a view of the Northern Lights on a clear night.

Inari, in Finnish Lapland, is situated at a latitude of 68°50′ North and is located approximately 265 km north of the Arctic Circle. This positioning places Inari just below the auroral oval. Consequently, it almost guarantees at least some Northern Lights sightings when the sky is clear, making Inari the best place to see the Northern Lights in my opinion.

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