Facts about the Northern Lights in Lofoten

Lofoten is situated under the aurora oval, and this is your guarantee that you are in the right place to experience this phenomenon.

In Lofoten, you can experience the northern lights from the end of August to the middle of April.

Before and after that time, the sky is not dark enough for us to be able see the northern lights when the midnight sun arrives. And you cannot see the northern lights every day, either because of low solar activity or because the sky is covered in clouds. But, – Lofoten has a lot of mountains, and sometimes a lot of weather. The mountains also contribute to breaking up the cloud cover and create gaps in the clouds where you can experience the northern lights, also when it is cloudy. The northern light guides in Lofoten know the best places to go to experience this phenomenon, also when most of Lofoten is covered in clouds. This is what they call the aurora hunt. Local tour operators know the region like their own pocket, and they are your best guarantee for a successful tour. 

If the northern lights do not show, you are still guaranteed a memorable experience. The landscape in Lofoten is special. The dramatic lines combined with the great ocean on both sides will always guarantee you a great experience. And above you and the clouds are the northern lights, also when the weather is bad. 

Book your next aurora hunt here 

The sound of the northern lights and the mystery

Northern light symbols have been found on Sami shaman drums. The phenomenon has many different names in the Sami language, for instance Guovssahas, which means «the light that you can hear». The Sami associated the northern lights with a sound. The northern light was seen as a supernatural power that they called on when they needed to settle a dispute. 

In Norse mythology, the northern lights had its own god, called Heimdall. The northern lights were seen as a female phenomenon and they believed that they were the souls of dead virgins dancing in the sky. 

A common superstition among many people used to be that when children waved white clothes at the northern light, it would increase its strength. In any case, one thing is for sure, the northern light is a magical experience!

Facts about the northern lights

The aurora borealis occurs when particles from the sun hit the earth’s atmosphere. The sun produces enormous gas clouds (solar winds) with various intensity. When these particles interact with the earth’s magnetic field, they are led towards a circle around the magnetic North Pole, and the energy that is emitted cause the northern lights. Strong solar activity will cause northern lights three to four days afterwards. 

But it took a long time before people understood what causes the aurora. It was not before the Norwegian physicist, Kristian Birkeland (1867-1917), came up with an explanation in 1886 that proved to be correct. 

Download the free aurora forecast app

The app gives you a quick and easy answer to when you have the best chance to experience the northern lights in Lofoten and Northern Norway.