Lapland Dec 9th - 10th 2006 trip
My first trip occurred
over the weekend of December 9th to 10th 2006 and included noted Sky@Night Magazine/ TV Astronomer Pete Lawrence with
myself as the guest Astronomers and Peter Truman the Omega organizer of the
event. It should be noted that for the local events Arctic Safaris organized
the main events whilst in Finland. Arriving at Kuusamo
Airport Lentokentšntie we were taken to the Holiday
Club Hotel at Kuusamo, Finland on the 9th where we
gave a joint presentation in the Hotel's excellent auditorium. Later that
evening we were whisked away to another much darker site to have a meal then
hoped to see the Aurora from a frozen lake. Alas the weather had not been
promising as the temperature was around +2 above freezing instead of the more
normal -20! Very light drizzle and low cloud even prevented us seeing the
Moon which rose later in the evening. However we enjoyed the night time
stroll through the Forest track to look at the native hunters shelter (very
like the Indian tepee in the US) and glimpses of the local Reindeer before
spending some time on the frozen lake. We returned to the main hotel and Pete
and I promised we would keep a watch on the weather until 2am
local time - of course also a good excuse to keep a check on the local bar!
Naturally the sky did not clear but that is the way of things.
The following images are based on the best of those taken during the Dec 9th-10th 2006 trip
Two of several Male 'Elfs' who helped guide us during our stay. These two ended up nicknamed 'Hairy Elf' (top) and Shorty! Note on the floor of the Holiday Club Hotel some large tiles shaped like footprints - Bigfoot sometimes pops in!
It's pretty difficult to try to photgraph when on the back of a Snow Mobile so this was taken at our rest break with Pete Lawrence at centre. Pete did a great job of driving the Snow Mobile and it was great fun!
On the flight back home in the dark Pete and I spotted the Auroral Arc and alerted Peter Truman. He in turn had asked the Captain if the cabin lights could be dimmed for a few minutes and he was kind enough to do so. The Cabin crew were very patient with us as we endeavoured to both show passengers the Aurora and also try to get a few pictures of it as well. I managed 2 images (shown below) then Pete (who had not had a chance to try until this flight) took quite a few images as the Aurora brightened in places. Pete's images are now on his web site www.digitalsky.org.uk
The Aurora is captured as it undergoes several brightenings with a ray developing as shown in these two images captured within 30 seconds of each other. The town lights blurred on the ground have not been identified but could be somewhere over Sweden or southern Norway - but I could be wrong!
For more details of Lapland/Aurora flights contact:
Holidays, White Cross Lancaster LA1 4XQ