Tromsø: Chasing the Aurora

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If you’ve never joined an organized Northern Lights chase, let me attempt to paint you a picture: A minivan full of people from all over the world clad in matching thermal suits, an eager guide craning his neck out the window to search the sky while WhatsApping others for intel, and, later, a bonfire with a bag of just-add-water Norwegian-style camping food to fill your belly while you wait, wait, wait. Finally, when you’re starting to feel your toes go numb in the hard core winter boots you were issued, the sky (hopefully) comes alive. To be clear, not with the same bright green color you’ll see in photos — that’s only visible with your camera using a long exposure, as the human eye (and your cell phone camera, for that matter) cannot take in the same amount of light. It’s more like someone is shining a flashlight from the other side of the sky, with beams of light filtering through pale, milky green clouds for seconds or even minutes at a time.

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