Aurora Royal HB.indd

This is a collection of blogs that were written during research trips for my book Aurora (2014-2016). For more current posts on the magnificent northern (and southern!) lights visit my Aurora Stories blog.

What is the aurora?

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An Aurora celebration

Last night was my book launch for Aurora: In Search of the Northern Lights held at Daunt Books, Holland Park.  The launch was sponsored by Crystal Head Aurora vodka, who made some beautiful aurora cocktails and we had a giant aurora banner so that people

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Svalbard’s Total Eclipse

Totality on 20th March 2015, Spitsbergen, Svalbard, by Ivar Marthinusen.

Last Friday was an extraordinary day. Eclipse day.  I awoke to mostly clear weather and couldn’t quite believe our luck.  As I walked down through Longyearbyen towards the university (UNIS) just before seven o’clock, there was a large lenticular cloud hugging the summit of

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Aurora in the Wilderness

Reindalen was vast and beautiful – a wide, long expanse edged by flattened mountains that looked like a giant line of piled white sugar subsiding into the valley.  The surface was mostly icy crust, again with puddles of snow, so pulling the sleds was relatively

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Setting Out Skiing Spitsbergen

I have recently been out skiing across Svalbard.  The trip was more intense – more brutal – than I could have imagined.  I realised that out there everything becomes about survival and nothing else matters. Two of us – just me and a guide –

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Nansen’s ship Fram

I am in Longyearbyen on Svalbard, the Norwegian archipelago at around 80 degrees North. On my way to Svalbard I spent a day in Oslo.  I visited the Fram Museum and saw the polar expedition ship that I had read so much about. It’s rests

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Anticipating Aurora & Eclipse

“You should be here earlier in the winter. When it was colder,” said Knut, the Sami reindeer herder in his gruff, accented English. “Now it’s warm weather, rain, we can’t see the northern lights.” “We haven’t seen them at all since I’ve been here,” I

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My time in the north

Two weeks ago I left London and flew to Canada for the first part of my Northern Lights research trip.  It's summer, so I wasn't travelling to see the northern lights, just to visit physicists and other experts and to take in some of the

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An Arctic Adventure

I'm writing a book on the Northern Lights, and as part of the research I'm travelling to various Arctic regions - Sweden, Norway, Canada and Iceland being the main ones.  Looking at the map, I feel I should be visiting Russia too, as I'm

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