Chasing Firefoxes In Finland

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Chasing firefox1‘Trusty’ Wikipedia says – Auroras are produced when the magnetosphere is sufficiently disturbed by the solar wind the trajectories of charged particles in both solar wind and magnetospheric plasma, mainly in the form of electrons and protons, precipitate them into the upper atmosphere (thermosphere/exosphere) due to Earth’s magnetic field, where their energy is lost. The resulting ionization and excitation of atmospheric constituents emits light of varying color and complexity.

Each time I look up, what causes  the Borealis, I always wonder how something so whimsical and magnificent to the eye has such a boring explanation (except, of course, if Science is your thing and you can actually visualize basis the technical explanation). In such scenario, would you chase one! Reading the above I have surely lost my energy in this complexity.

Chasing firefox2While in Finland, the borealis/ northern lights/ revontulet (in Finnish) can be seen in during the long period from September to April. This does not necessarily mean that there is one everyday during that time or for that matter that everyone in Finland has had the opportunity of having seen one! Apparently, living in Finland (or in the northern hemisphere) does not make you an authority on the Borealis.

According to Finnish mythology, the northern lights is the motion of a ‘Firefox’ who ran so fast across the snow that his tail caused sparks to fly into the night sky creating the Borealis! The indigenous people of Lapland, the Sami people, believed that the lights were a result from the spume of water that ejected from the whales. In my mind, the latter seems more believable.

Chasing firefox3

3d little human read an open book

On my first trip to Lapland, beside the obvious meeting with Santa Claus, was to experience the Aurora Borealis, it being the prime season of the ‘firefox’ putting up a show. I assumed it was a given that I would see it in all its glory, that the firefox would run, run like the wind. But alas, the firefox was out only for a walk that night, creating a faint, but nonetheless magical pattern.To paint a picture, the night was dark, temperatures low, clear sky, at a spot far away from the city lights in a reindeer pulled sleigh with bells jingling (sleigh bells ring, are you listening playing in my head), tall pines all covered in snow under a star sprinkled sky. Nothing impressed the firefox that nothing as followed the ‘green tail’.  Needless to say, for me it was still magical and phenomenal. As you can tell, I am not a photographer of the night skies. Maybe, that’s the reason I haven’t seen it yet.

Chasing firefox5Recently, there was news that the Aurora Borealis could be viewed in the city too and Instagram was flooding with pictures. Unfortunately, in our part of the city it was rainy and overcast. I will not give up. Next stop, Reykjavik ‎(Bay of smokes), ICELAND – The chase continues, first being the pronunciation of ˈrɛɪkjaviːk.




Tulip is an aspiring photographer (#walkanddiscoverfinland), yoga practitioner and future entrepreneur, with an insatiable appetite for learning and a perpetual WIP. In the process of listing sailing and the finnish language as her superpowers. Currently, a shiny brick in the wall, seeking divine intervention! Tulip has recently married and moved to Helsinki, Finland – Europe.

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