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September 2003


Location:Valkeakoski, Finland (Geographic Longitude = 24E; Geographic Latitude = 61N; Corrected Magnetic Latitude = 57)
Lens: 35mm f/2.0 at 2.0
Films: Fuji Provia 400F(slide)
Exposure times:15 sec.
More: ...

Lapland 10/11-17/18

  • For quite some time i have dreamed about making a little trip to the Lapland to see the lights at true high latitude. Then especially after the Andenes Norway trip i knew that i have to find a way to travel to our own high latitude location, Lapland. I had been there before, but it was during the army and not so much voluntarily. Anyway in early September i thought that now might be a good time to make the trip or at least to plan it, to load all the stuff in to the car and drive 1000 km north.
    My target area was in the Saariselkä region in northern Finnish Lapland at around 68.5 degrees north. The trip was rather low budget thing and partly (very much) because of that my time window was not very wide and long. Before the trip many many peoples said that i should go there as early as possible....That it might get rather not nice if the temps go down to normal October temps in -10 or -20 C. Why so? Well, i am not actually a experienced and since i was sleeping in a car and so on. During few morning when the temps got clearly way below zero, i also noticed that my winter coat would not be a good for being outdoors nonstop several days and days in row in lower temps. It's ok here in southern Finland, when i can go indoors to warm after hour or two, but....several days. NO WAY!

    How was the trip? Well, i must say that i didn't get what i wanted. I wanted to see those high latitude style bands and spirals and so on that one can see in almost all high lat. pics, but there really wasn't much those. The ones i did see were so damn fast and usually very low in the horizon. Most of the stuff that i did see i could see in souther Finland too. Although i must say that, to see similar amount of bright stuff in the south that i saw up there in ONE week, it would take at least couple of years of watching....The difference between geomagnetic latitudes of 57/58 and around 65 is just simply HUGE! Anyway, when i got tired of camping life and i knew that there would be good auroras during next few nights, i thought....maybe next time. Since i will come back! Ok, and one more thing....i absolutely loved the sceneries between Saariselkä and Inari!!!!! Also the candle spruce trees near Vuotso or so were also so very wonderful! I know where i am gonna travel next time!!! ;-)

    Other notes: Before the trip many people said that they have an impression that the skies above directly above Saariselkä are much more often clear than above the surrounding area. I don't know is it true, but it sure looked like it. No matter what kind of weather was forecasted, the skies were partly clear every night of my stay. Also it's very easy to drive on top of the fell KAunispää and get above the occasional VERY VERY dense mist, which completely overwhelmed the surrounding areas especially on the first night.
    In the Saariselkä the road connections seemed to be quite good for searching for the clear skies. You can easily travel large distances in north-south direction and get 40 km west also with Kuttura road. Traveling eastward is little more troublesome, but with the road to Nellim and so on, that will be ok too. Also driving to northern Norway is very easy. Possibly if this would not have been my first trip and if i would have known that they have clear skies, i could have driven there.... Maybe next time.
    About the lights itself...It seemed that the lights at high lat. have much much much higher tempo than what the lights at high lat. have. At high middle lat. the displays usually have very strickly defined peaks of activity and between them, there really isn't much activity at all. Up there it looked like the lights were peaking more or less every few "mins" leaving an very different feeling than what one will have in southern Finland. Down here in the south timing is crusial, one doesn't NOT have an opportunity to miss the peaks...if you miss those 1-3 peaks, you will simply miss ALL the action. It is as simple as that. Down here in the south, it is now or never... There are no curtains to keep the audience warm during intermissions.


    Location: Porttipahta (first 6 pics), fell Kaunispää/Saariselkä


    Location: Kuttura/Saariselkä.


    Location: Saariselkä.


    Location: fell Kaunispää/Saariselkä.


    Location: Rahajärvi/Ivalo, fell Kaunispää/Saariselkä (last 3 pics).


    Location: Ivalo river/Ivalo, Saariselkä (last 3 pics).


    Location: fell Kiilopää, Vuotso, Porttipahta.


    Location: Sattanen (near Sodankylä).


    Location:Valkeakoski/Toijala, Finland (Geographic Longitude = 24E; Geographic Latitude = 61N; Corrected Magnetic Latitude = 57)
    Lens:28mm f/1.8 at 2.0 and 35mm f/2.0 at 2.0
    Films: Fuji Provia 400F(slide)
    Exposure times:15 sec.
    More: ...

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