I’ve lived in Oslo for almost 20 years and other than from an airplane at night flying over the North Sea, I have never seen the Aurora Borealis with my own eyes with my feet on the ground. In recent years, I installed an app on my phone to alert me when Aurora activity is high enough that seeing the northern lights in my area was a (slim) possibility. Because we have dark nights for only a part of the year this far north, and because we unfortunately have numerous cloudy nights, I never ventured out to see the Aurora when alerted in the past. It always seemed to be cloudy. Or, on the occasional clear night, really cold (and I could not encourage anyone else to join me in this wild goose chase).
This winter, however, my luck changed! In January, when alerted to high activity, I checked the Aurora map and it was SO INTENSE I was motivated to check our local weather, which happened to be mostly clear. We headed out, under an almost full moon, to a local beach that looks towards downtown Oslo, thinking there was no way to see anything with the city light pollution as well as a bright moon overhead. We were wrong! I first had to convince my partner in crime that we were seeing green (my camera certainly could see it after my eyes picked it out) but after a time the Aurora got so intense we could easily see it dancing over the Oslo fjord with our own eyes. It was amazing! That night was really something special. Since then, we have gone out two other times to the same location and, while we did see the faint green of the northern lights, it wasn’t as special or as intense as the first night.
Here are a few images of the Aurora Borealis from that first night, an image of a crescent moon with earthshine illuminating the rest of the visible side of the moon on the second night we went out (and found only a very faint haze of northern lights – not worth posting here), and a last image from the third night we looked for our friend the Aurora Borealis