Autumn has been great so far. We haven’t seen a lot of northern lights before, at least not for many years, says Anders Hansen of the Aurora Borealis Observatory in Senja.
On Wednesday evening, service at the restaurant was cut off so guests could see the northern lights dancing across the sky.
– There was a really good atmosphere, both outside the restaurant and inside afterwards, he says.
During the long fall and winter, the northern lights are the biggest sales item that tourism can offer. Before the pandemic, thousands of tourists came to cities like Tromso to experience this phenomenon.
Halfway to the limit
And now the odds of increasing the northern lights are pretty good. Currently, the activity that creates the popular sky phenomenon is increasing. So says Pål Brekke, head of space research at the Norwegian Space Center and an expert on the northern lights.
The sun has an activity cycle of 11 years, which also influences the strength of the northern lights.
We passed the bottom line in the valley of waves we were in, and we’re halfway to the limit. He says it will be good years to come.
Explains the amazing northern lights on Wednesday in Corona. Not the bad virus that destroyed the globe, but a hole in the sun’s warm atmosphere.
– There are two processes on the sun that create powerful twilights. Solar storms and corona vents. This time the aura hole was the source.
Corona holes are dark areas in the Sun’s warm atmosphere. Here, the solar wind “goes” twice as fast as the rest of the solar disk, and when such holes rotate toward the center of the Sun, the hole “targets” us.
– WhichTwo days later, this “wind” hit the ground. Thus, a wind storm causes the Earth’s magnetic field to “vibrate”, and a geomagnetic storm forms, in the same way as solar storms, Brik explains.
After the Corona pandemic, the tourism industry needs all the legs it can get back on its feet. The fact that the northern lights are now “playing as a team” means a lot.
– It’s been a few “damn years”, frankly. The fact that we are off the solar minimum and on our way to the maximum is amazing. It could have been worse if we had come out of the corona while we were in a downward curve, says Anders Hansen of Singa.
This winter is their first proper season after the pandemic.
– From our side, whose summer is low, and this is the high season, it is very good. Both the American and Asian markets are back. Australia has started booking again. We’ve been setting new booking records every month now, compared to our peak year of 2019.
Want to see the aurora borealis before you die
Senja owners are so optimistic about the future that they now have plans to double their capacity. A zoning plan that opens up to 65 new housing units has been approved by the municipality.
– Northern Lights Vacation One Goals that a person would like or wish to achieve in his life that people want to implement. It’s not their main vacation. But we can see from the booking numbers that a lot of people would like to travel again, Hansen says.
There are also other things that attract tourists if aurora activity decreases in the future, says tourism researcher Carrie Jaeger at UiT in Alta.
The aurora borealis is one of the factors that make people travel to northern Norway. But at the same time, they also want to experience things like snowboarding, going on a snowboard safari, and visiting Sami people. Sieda.
Since you can never guarantee there will be northern lights, this will also be an exciting moment for the tourists who come. Jæger explains that many return multiple times in search of the northern lights.
Have you seen the aurora borealis before?
The polar nature and being in the element is part of what attracts people here. For example, not hearing the noise from the surrounding environment and crushing snow underfoot. She says it could potentially be very magical, regardless of the northern lights.
– It has a very strong effect on the guests. For many, being precisely in is an important element, and if you can see the northern lights, it can trump that experience.
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