It is spring. A time one is often told to not be optimal for Aurora Borealis viewing. That is true, and especially so when one is as far South as Stockholm. Combined with the light pollution, one would be hard pressed to view the legendary Aurora. However, with the right equipment, some information from Aurora monitoring services, and a way to know magnetic North, one can easily have a shot (pun intended) at capturing this phenomenon.
For the uninitiated, the Aurora Borealis (also known as the Northern Lights or Norrsken in Swedish) is a light emission from the solar winds colliding with the Earth’s atmosphere. Think of it as what happens when turbolasers from a Star Destroyer strikes the shields of a Mon Calamari cruiser: Light spilling forth from the energetic impacts. In the case of real life, it’s a bit like seeing the Sun hitting Earth’s shield.
These photos were taken from a perch atop the stone wall alongside the Katarina Vägen road, overlooking the iconic Stockholm waterfront. I checked the Aurora forecast and realized that it exceeded KP 5, which usually means that the Aurora is nominally visible at the latitude where Stockholm is. However, it takes a magnitude exceeding KP 6 to have any chance at all of seeing it overhead.
That said, it would behoove one to consider visiting in the actual Winter months, where the night dominates the day and the Auroral activity is most visible. And to those who are here, be aware that the KP levels are expected to be high tomorrow and the day after, which makes for more potential viewing opportunities. Good hunting!