Kiruna "DARK SKY SPECIALS" - info

About light pollution and dark sky in Kiruna

Less than 100 years ago, everyone could look up and see a spectacular starry night sky. Now, millions of children across the globe will never experience the Milky Way where they live. The increased and widespread use of artificial light at night is not only impairing our view of the universe, it is adversely affecting our environment, our safety, our energy consumption and our health. And during your stay in Kiruna it has an impact on to the sensitivity of YOUR night vision !

What is Light Pollution? Most of us are familiar with air, water, and land pollution, but did you know that light can also be a pollutant? The inappropriate or excessive use of artificial light – known as light pollution – can have serious environmental consequences for humans, wildlife, and our climate. Components of light pollution include:

Glare – excessive brightness that causes visual discomfort
Skyglow – brightening of the night sky over inhabited areas
Light trespass – light falling where it is not intended or needed
Clutter – bright, confusing and excessive groupings of light sources

According to the 2016 groundbreaking “World Atlas of Artificial Night Sky Brightness,” 80 percent of the world’s population lives under skyglow. In the United States and Europe 99 percent of the public can’t experience a natural night!

Even if Kiruna is a rather remote located city light pollution is a side effect of industrial civilization here as well. It's sources include building exterior and interior lighting, advertising, commercial properties, offices, factories, streetlights, and illuminated sporting venues.

Below you can find two screenshots that are taken from the NASA blue marble light pollution maps. The first image shows the western part of Kiruna municipality - the landscape along the European road No 10 towards Narvik. This is the route to travel during our "DARK SKY TOURS" Abisko aurora borealis excursion and Aurora borealis tour to Norway. You can see how strong even the light produced by tiny settlements is visible from space (these images are taken from a satellite) and that even the village of Abisko is polluted by artificial lights. For this reason we use to make our stops and to spend time mostly on the stage between Stenbacken and Abisko: To present you the night sky in natural beauty without any impact of artificial lights.

The second image shows the eastern part of the Kiruna municipality. Our Aurora borealis tour to Finland follows the E10 and from Svappavaara towards north on E45. Here you will experience "real darkness" on the long stages between Vittangi and Nedre Soppero as well as between Övre Soppero and Karesuvanto.

So, with booking of any of our "DARK SKY SPECIAL" excursions you can be sure to enjoy the fascination of the sub-arctic night sky for 100%. Our guides will provide night vision friendly red light during the stops and ask you kindly to avoid artificial illumination by playing with your smartphones while beeing close to other participants. Because it might be a once in a lifetime experience for you. And we don't want to let you go from Kiruna without trying to make these trips a 100% success for you!

Light pollution in western Kiruna

Light pollution in the eastern part of Kiruna

long stages of plain darkness on the way ...
long stages of plain darkness on the way ...