Aurora Borealis

Västergötland and Småland in south Sweden aren't generally associated with auroras, but sometimes it gets all the way down here. Auroras can develop and change very fast. You need to be alert when it's on. However, some of the pictures are taken further to the north.

22/4 2017: It's been a long time since I saw an aurora, and I really didn't expect to see any more this season. But with a Kp of 5 and a clearing after midnight It got quite beautiful. The picture is taken at home, outside Grimsås.

4/1 2017: A short visit in Bodø, Norway starts up really bad. Instead of clear skies as predicted, it's cloudy. Instead of a Kp 5 as predicted, there is a 2. I'm starting to wonder if the whole trip will be wasted.  
But as the clouds start to disperse, a nice aurora developes and makes me a lot happier.Then, around 22:30 the sky suddenly "explodes" and I get some magnificent corona pictures.  The aurora is green, white and pink then.

31/12 2016: Instead of the usual new year fireworks I give myself a journey to Härnösand chasing auroras. This time I'm not dissapointed! With two peaks, one hour apart, of a strong, fast moving aurora the evening is a total success!

21/12 2016: Here comes a midwinter aurora! The pictures are taken in Härnösand and the aurora was strongest in the beginning. If I had got there earlier it would probably have been even stronger. Well, nothing to do about that. A beautiful light though, but without any real explosions.

10/12 2016: Even though the solar wind keeps blowing about the same as yesterday, the aurora remains week throughout the night. Well, I'll just have to settle with what I got yesterday...

9/12 2016:Greetings from Gussö outside Luleå in north Sweden! I'm visiting Ulf Jonsson and the first picture shows his house. The aurora doesn't dissapoint, a beatiful lightshow especially in the early evening!

24/11 2016: Kp reaches 4+ as a result of a coronal hole on the sun. Enough to create visible auroras in the south of Sweden, at times quite bright. The picture is taken by the lake Örlen, close to Tibro. 

10/11 2016: A small but, at times beautiful moonlit aurora. The picture is taken by Länghem north of Tranemo with a Kp of 4+.

22/10 2016: With very short notice I take a trip to  Bodø, Norway. The aurora forecast is a possible Kp 5 on saturday night. Well, it reaches 1 - 2.... But with a high density solar wind and increasing speed it still gets beautiful. Very fast movements in this aurora. 

13/10 2016: As Kp unexpectedly rises to 6-7, it's a matter of grabbing the oportunity. There are clear skies at Hindås in the early night and the aurora doesn't dissapoint, even with almost full moon. Strong but fast moving auroras this time. 

28/9 2016: A large coronal hole on the sun produces several nights with auroras. This night Kp reaches 6, and I go to Tibro where it cleares up at 21 in the evening. A great lightshow starts an our later. 

2/9 2016: With a good aurora forecast, after work on friday afternoon I take my car, going north. Just before it gets really dark, me and my camera are ready at the lake Bergsjön southwest of Söderhamn. The Kp index is only 3 to begin with, but half an hour later it climbs to over 4 and the aurora gets aktive. 

30/8 2016: With a Kp of around 4 there is a visible aurora in Grimsås. The clouds do disturb, but according to the weather forecast it should be completey cloudy, so... A lot of red in this aurora. 

2/8 2016:And this must be a record in early start of the aurora season! It never gets really dark this night, but the aurora is there anyway. 

9/5 2016: Seriously, this must be the last visible aurora of this season. Never before have I seen anything this late in spring. The pictures were taken around 01.00 at night, when it was dark enough. Kp should be att 7, a bit surprising, because normally that would produce even stronger and closer auroras. Well, nice anywhay.

14/4 2016: When I take the car 30-40km north of my house, I don't have great expectations. The solar wind is slow, the density is low and there is a moon. But for a short while the northern lights get going, giving me some nice pictures.

11/3 2016: With a Kp-index of only 3,67 there is usually very little to see in southern Sweden. With that in mind, I'd say this was a jackpot! A lot of red in this aurora.

6/1 2016: I have taken a flight up to Bodø in the north of Norway, to try and get a "real" Aurora from north of the polar circle. At first I'm dissapointed, low Kp and almost nothing to see. But after a while the aurora is on, and I get a lightshow better than anything I have seen before!

21/12 2015: The probability to find an aurora this night was slim. A CME hit Earth last night but should subside during the day. Furthermore, almost all Sweden is covered in clouds. But I manage to find an opening in the clouds, and Kp reaches an unbelievable 8! Towards 01:00 it really gets going, and I get these pictures.

4/11 2015: The coronal hole that created the great aurora on  7/10, now has rotated one revolution around the sun. Sadly I miss the first night when the aurora is best. In pure "desperation" I go to Söderhamn the next night. Still a high Kp, 4-5, but the aurora is weak. First light for my new wideangle, Samyang 16mm.
Orion rises over Bergviken.

10/10 2015: Time for a conference with amateur astronomers in Sundsvall, further up in the north. At night I go to Härnösand, getting this aurora. The Kp index is around 3.

8/10 2015: I have travelled up north now, reaching Tierp in the evening. I would say this aurora is a bit tame, given the fact that Kp reaches 6 for a short while.

7/10 2015: Early in the day Kp reaches 6, and all my expectations are fullfilled as it climbes to 7 in the evening! There are auroras not only in the north, but in the west, and up in the zenith. What a wonderful night!
Later on the aurora subsides, but get a deeper green color.

19/9 2015: During a visit in Rjukan, Norway I get a decent aurora in the evening. I take my pictures from 1000m altitude. Later at night the aurora builds up even more, but I don't know that, I'm asleep in my bed.

11/9 2015: In Europe, we mostly missed this aurora. Kp index rises to 7 during the day, but towards evening there isn't much left. I get my pictures with a Kp of 4, after returning home from Gothenburg.

7/9 2015: This was an incredible night! Kp rises to 6 and I drive north to reach clear skies. After getting to Tanumshede, the auroras develop fast and I get a lightshow, as good as I have ever seen before!

28/8 2015: The aurora season really has got a flying start! This aurora shines for the third night in a row, when I get a chance to get some pictures. Even in a full moon it's strong enough to shine through, quite unusual so far to the south. The place is Hindås, west of Borås in south Sweden.

16/8 2015: The auroras continue on their second night! This night I am working with my telescope, so I stay in Grimsås. Longer to the south and a weaker aurora. But still, a few minutes of stronger activity around mignight produces some really nice pictures, with strong colors.

15/8 2015: Following a rather weak CME, Kp index reaches 7 during the day! Towards evening it's not as strong anymore, but I drive north to Tibro to see what I can get. With a Kp around 5 I get these pictures.

21/4 2015: We have had a lot of auroras for some time now. This night it's only weak, but for a while the sky turnes violet. Quite nice, in my view.

16/4 2015: The sunwind continues on its second day. I go to Falköping getting good pictures. On my way back I stop at the lake outside Grimsås, where the aurora builds up once again, even better than in Falköping!

15/4 2015: A coronal hole on the sun creates a strong sunwind, producing great auroras. I go to Hindås, one hour to the northwest and recieves this lightshow!

23/3 2015: After having missed the great aurora of last week (I was in Lund with my students), I desperatly want to get some auroras. This night I go by car to southern Norway and get this picture, a small comfort at least. Unusually red in color.

7/3 2015: A weak but nice aurora, from Haglebu at 900 m altutude. Kp index unknown.

23/2 2015: A medium sized coronal hole on the sun creates this aurora. At home in Grimsås it's raining, but I take my car to Tanumshede and get my aurora. A good felling just to see something, after a period of lousy weather at home.

4/1 2015: An unexpected aurora, without any CME, but with some influence from a "coronal hole" on the Sun. For a short while Kp reaches 6, and I get an aurora in full moon! If there hadn't been moonlight this would have been magnificent. But still, nice! The picture is taken a few km outside Grimsås.

21/12 2014: This time I'm in the company of Dante, from Stockholm. We go to the lake Bergviken southwest of Söderhamn. The weather provides a window of a few hours, while a CME strikes with a slow but dense stream. The result is a beautiful aurora, developing as the clouds begin to move in. Kp approaches 4 when we finally give up. 

15/12 2014: Kp-index is climbing again (3-4). During a shortlived window in the cloudlayer I take my car to Tanumshede, getting this picture.

30/10 2014: After going by car to Härnösand in northern Sweden, I get my reward with an aurora on the second and last night. Kp-index is only 1, which I think is strange.

12/9 2014: Following an X-flare on the Sun, directed straight towards Earth, expectations are high in spite of an almost full Moon. As the CME strikes towards evening, a cold front spreads a cloud layer over Grimsås. I drive north, 350km to the Norwegian border at Svinesund. There I reach  clear skies, north of the cold front. I am more than pleased that I made this journey! Kp-index has now reached 7 (G3)! All pictures are taken towards the Norwegian side.

27/8 2014: Following a slow CME, a weak but rather nice aurora appears. Mostly blue colors around 22.00, with Kp-index at 4,33. Towards midnight it's more green, Kp-index 5. 

2/10 2013: Also this one was unexpected! A geomagetic storm (G2) is in progress during the day, but towards evening the Kp-index drops to 3, and I have no great expectations. A weak aurora can be seen around 20.00. But after 22.00 this happens. A magificent lightshow even with a Kp of only 3,67! (It must have been higher locally.) Yet another "wonderful evening".

27/8 2013: This was a bit of a surprise. A CME (coronal mass ejection) from the sun was expected during the weekend, but it didn't show up. Towards tuesday night the Kp index climbed to 5 (G1) and I got these pictures. Lovely!

1/5 2013: Another "wonderful evening", where the real action starts after midnight, following a steady green aurora the whole evening. That's when the Kp climbs up to 5 (G1) and pillars of light emerge. The aurora is weak, but colorful.

24/4 2013. It's not much use chasing a northern light at full moon. Bur with a Kp=4 I try anyway, and drive north of Falköping to meet an incoming clear weather. The northern light is there, but proves difficult to get in the light surroundings.

17/3 2013: The "wonderful evening", according to Ulf Jonsson from Luleå (northern Sweden). A geomagnetic storm G2 (Kp=6) is in full rage. Already at dusk the show begins, with bright lightpillars not only to the north, but to the east and high in the sky. Violet, green and blue can clearly be seen with the naked eye. After half an hour it calms down to a steady green glow to the north. About 23.00 it escalates again with new pillars of light, but this time green and only to the north.

1/3 2013: Finally a night with clear skyes, and Kp-index 4. I have great expectations, but the aurora  turns out to be weak. Almost impossible to see with the naked eye, but the camera gets the aurora. Even a few pillars of light can be seen.

12/11 2012: This was a most successful evening. After taking pictures of Pacman Nebula with my telescope, I carry it inside close to midnight. I go for a ride with my car to look for auroras, since the Kp-index has climbed to 4 now. The sky has a bright green glow to the north and I take my very first aurora pictures!