1 mega telescope
11 hopeful sky explorers
3 litres hot chocolate
30 kleina‘s (Icel. plural: Kleinur)
Northern Lights Hunt
Based on forecast and gut-feeling we predicted the best bet would be along the Reykjanes peninsula. Off we went with our Brits, Indians, Brazilian and Aussie.
Driving through sleet, snow and hail to get there we found our perfect spot for the night around nine o’clock. Along the Vatnsleysustrandarvegur road, close to Vogar town, by a spooky deserted house. It was still completely overcast but we could see the cloud-banks lifting and breaking up. We knew we were in the right spot.
We set up camp, explored the area and set our cameras; ISO 400, shutterspeed 30 sec, aperture 3.2. Something short of 30 min. later we started seeing the faintest sliver of green stretching across the sky from East to West. It was so faint it was almost imaginary. As we stood there staring and willing it to happen it slowly enhanced into the bright colour of dance we know and love. Who said a watched pot never boils?
It was a lovely night out, not too cold and rather still. Some horses showed up to say hi, a friendly bunch of night time snackers digging for cool grass underneath the snow.
We spotted Uranus low on the horizon early evening but it disappeared behind clouds before we set up the telescope. Through the lens we explored the usual suspects; Jupiter, Orion Nebula and the Moon. I must say the Moon looked particularly lovely this evening. We also spotted a few shooting stars, always a crowd-pleaser 🙂
So, this couple from India and these two girl-friends from Brazil and Australia book a holiday to Iceland. Seperately. In Reykjavík they all drop into the same booking office. THEN they all book the same tour with our tiny new company. THEN they are all placed in the same 4×4. And THEN it turns out they all presently live in Dubai AND they all work for Emirates Airlines! And THEN they all see the Northern Lights together for the first time!
In the other 4×4? All Brits!
We just love a good twist of fate 🙂
Northern Lights sighting: Vatnsleysuströnd, Ásláksstaðir (pink circle)
Time of sighting: 21:30 – ish
Duration: 2 hours, very strong for about an hour