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Iceland

Aurora Basecamp, great for watching the northern lights

In a remote place of the island, far from the little environmental and luminous pollution that there is, an observatory-resort was born, dedicated to lovers of the winter skies show to be enjoyed in relax

The great beauty of the sky attracts more and more people. Those who choose vacations immersed in nature, in the middle of nowhere, far from the cities, in the relaxing quiet of an unexplored scenario, to admire the spectacle of the celestial vault, passing a holiday among stars as far as the eye can see, the clean sky, the wild nature, endless landscapes.

This is why the Aurora Basecamp, a corner of paradise nestled in the Icelandic countryside, is a twenty-minute drive from Reykjavik. It is a remote place, immersed in the untouched Scandinavian and glacial landscapes, in a geographically perfect spot to admire the night skies: especially in some seasons of the year, when the only lights of which the firmament is illuminated are the aurora borealis. The temperatures are glacial, but in exchange you have the chance to sleep under a star-studded roof, colored by the incredible flashes of light.

The Aurora Basecamp is the new headquarters in fact of the Northern Lights Observatory, a modern observatory from which to admire all the spectacle of the long northern nights. “This is a hotel not for five, but for millions of stars,” the owners boast. This is not a hotel, but a Basecamp, as the name suggests, which offers a unique stay in futuristic rooms, surrounded by snow-covered forests and snow-covered plains.

To better appreciate the nature of the place, the structure offers its guests rooms called Dome, made with a special panoramic dome ceiling, made entirely of glass. The spherical design recalls the idea of an igloo, but, given the difficult climatic conditions, the chambers are equipped to withstand ice even during the long arctic winters, when the thermometer drops far below zero: the rooms are hi-tech and isolated on the outside, but warm and welcoming on the inside, made with wood and leather furniture, with every kind of comfort.

The heart of the Basecamp is the Aurora Lounge, a large space with a domed ceiling and a diameter of 150 square meters, which offers guests the opportunity to spend an evening with friends and admire, just like in an observatory, stars and auroras boreal, in a comfortable environment, lit only by a few candles.

For those who would like to face the icy temperatures of Icelandic nights, there are also experienced guides willing to take adventurous guests on a tour into the wild, with a scenic walk through the wilds, hunting for aurora borealis. Of course, the climate will be a real challenge. But patience, to warm the souls will be the stars. As the great Tiziano Terzani noted, “By dint of looking at the sky and breathing in the fresh air of the night, it seemed to me to fill me with stars”.

About Northern lights:

  • Sound: Sometimes, when an aurora appears, you can hear sounds that resemble hisses. These are electrophonic sounds, a phenomenon that can occur, although much more rarely, even during the appearance of bolides. The origin of these sounds is not yet clear: it is believed that they are due to perturbations of the local terrestrial magnetic field, caused by an increased ionization of the overlying atmosphere.The polar auroras are often also accompanied by radio emissions in the VLF band, known as “aural chorus”. Since the frequencies of these signals are in the order of kHz, so they are audio frequencies, they can be converted into audio using a special receiver.
  • Origin: The origin of the aurora is found to 149 million km from the Earth, that is on the Sun. The appearance of a great group of sunspots is the first sign of an expulsive activity of intense coronal mass. The energetic particles emitted by the Sun travel in space forming the solar wind. This moves through the interplanetary space (and therefore towards the Earth, which can reach in 50 hours) with speeds typically ranging between 400 and 800 km / s, dragging with it part of the solar magnetic field (interplanetary magnetic field). The solar wind, interacting with the earth’s magnetic field, also called magnetosphere, distorts it, creating a sort of magnetic “bubble”, similar in shape to a comet.

Location: Aurora Basecamp on map

Aurora Basecamp on map
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