You'll be able to experience this spectacular natural light show in real time from the comfort of your own home.

By Kelly Vaughan
September 10, 2020

Unless you're lucky enough to live in Alaska, northern Canada, Iceland, northern Norway, Finland, Sweden, and northern Russia, you most likely haven't gotten to experience the spectacle in the sky known as the Northern Lights. And with less travel now due to the coronavirus pandemic, fewer people will get to experience the lights—also known as the aurora borealis—in person this year. However, if you've always dreamed of getting to witness the colorful display of neon lights live, now you can. "A strong aurora show gives you a real cocktail of emotions. Respect, awe, joy and gratitude," says Harri Tarvainen, an aurora hunter.

two hikers under the northern lights
Credit: powerofforever / Getty Images

Thanks to a group known as "aurora hunters," four individuals—Tarvainen, who is from northern Finland, Steffen Fossbakk in Senja, Norway, Magnus Winbjork in Gallivare, and Swedish Lapland and Per Lundström in Luleå—will each go on an expedition in search of the aurora and broadcast their travels on Instagram including stories, livestream, and in-feed posts. So, what is exactly are the aurora anyway? The Northern Lights are a result of charged particles captured by the sun and accelerated by Earth's magnetosphere to interact with atoms in the upper atmosphere.

Beginning this Friday, September 11, the Instagram account This is Arctic will begin to broadcast a feed from each of the hunters. "I can't think a phenomenon more magical than the Northern Lights," Tarvainen tells Forbes. "I've seen her dance when there shouldn't have been any activity and I've seen only pitch-black skies when I thought it was 100 percent active. Northern Lights are something you cannot control—that's why seeing them feels like a gift from above!"

The aurora season officially begins in September and runs through April, due to the darkness caused by daylight savings time.


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