Head north to witness the wondrous Northern Lights in the company of one of our team of astronomy experts.
The wild and remote landscapes of Iceland, Sweden or Alaska offer exciting winter activities during by day then as evening draws in, our thoughts turn to the skies. A series of talks about the Northern Lights will prepare you for the awesome sight of auroral arcs and curtains that we hope will appear as night falls. Our ‘out of this world’ trips are for everyone, from those who want to get the most from their experience of the lights to keen amateur star gazers.
Join acclaimed astronomer Dr John Mason, whose knowledge and reputation for friendliness has won him a huge following. A lively speaker on television and radio, Dr Mason accompanies many of our astronomy trips and will talk you through the sky at night for an inspirational experience.
Nick James (B.Sc., MIEE, C.Eng.), secretary of the British Astronomical Association, is a regular speaker on astronomical subjects to audiences ranging from primary school children through to advanced astronomers. Nick joins most of our Astronomy Kids trips and brightens up the skies wiht his live planetarium shows.
Whilst the focus is on the sky at night, we also make the most of the day in fascinating destinations. Whilst in the spectacular landscape of Iceland, Alaska and Sweden there is the opportunity to indulge in winter activities such as cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.
The Northern Lights is a magnificent phenomenon that has always been the object of fascination and wonder. Legend has it; the Northern Lights have been seen as everything from evil spirits to celestial wars with their marching armies. The appearance of red aurora in medieval times was feared as a sign of God's anger. The explanation given by modern science is no less extraordinary. A stream of charged particles called the solarwind is continuously emitted from the Sun and when these particles interact with the Earth's upper atmosphere light is emitted.
One of the most wondrous features of the aurora is its spectacular movement as it swirls rapidly over the whole sky. Curtains and haloes are other features to look out for. When witnessed in its full glory the aurora is a truly breathtaking and memorable spectacle.
Displays of aurora can never be guaranteed but the likelihood of seeing a good display can be maximized by viewing from locations in the high latitudes such as Iceland, Sweden and Alaska. The level of solar activity is another important factor as the strength of the solar wind is determined by the Sun's activity which runs on a cycle of approximately 11 years. The solar activity picked up strongly throughout 2011 and 2012 with active displays reported from high latitudes. The cycle is due to peak around 2013 so this winter the lights enter the most lively phase and the next couple of years should be a great time to see them.
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This Sweden adventure holiday offers you a great experience - spending a time in beautiful remote areas of Lapland and trying your hand at a range of exciting winter activities such as dog-sledding, snowmobiling and witness the northern lights.
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