FOLLOWING THE AURORA

COVERCHORD FEATURE

FOLLOWING THE AURORA

JAPANESE

The majestic, mysterious aurora. Curtains of light dancing playfully in the night sky. Aurora is the name given to the ancient Greeks’ goddess of light, an otherwordly glow that for centuries was thought to carry messages sent to earth by divine spirits. Modern science now explains the phenomonon as solar winds colliding with earths magnetic fields, forcing the atmosphere’s electorns and protons to emit brilliant colors. There is, however, still much that is unknown about the captivating beauty of aurora. With this in mind, travel and culture magazine TRANSIT ventured to the earth’s farthest reaches in search of the mythical lights. Here we publish a portion from TRANSIT’s 'Aurora Viewing Guide’, a book in book bound into the magazine’s Winter 2016 issue.

AURORA MAP

First and foremost, where can aurora be seen? The regions that aurora are visible all lie within the auroral oval, a band that stretches between latitudes of 60 and 80 degrees of either pole. This is the zone where the earth’s magnetospehre is disturbed by solar winds, resulting in charged atomic particles being pushed into the upper atmosphere where they emit light. Alaska in north America and Lapland in northern Scandanavia are renowned for offering some of the best aurora veiwing opportunites, with locatins in New Zealand and Tasmania offering the best views of the southern hemispheric aurora australis. Covering both the north and the south, here are some of the TRANSIT editorial team’s recommended aurora viewing spots from around the world.

①Ilulissat ②Kangerlussuaq ③Reykjavík ④Akureyri ⑤Jökulsárlón ⑥Lofoten ⑦Tromsø ⑧Karasjok ⑨Kiruna ⑩Rovaniemi ⑪Saariselkä ⑫Tasmania ⑬Queenstown ⑭Tekapo ⑮Fairbanks ⑯Whitehorse ⑰Yellowknife  ⑱Churchill

オーロラ ベスト4

1.Saariselka


Saariselkä in village is located in a mountainous area of Finnish Northern Lapland. The area is home to the indigenous Sami people who have traditionally lived as nomadic reindeer herders. At midnight the sky is cloaked in a white cloud from which a luminous green light gradually emerges. The world famous Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, which has glass ceiling igloos offering views of the aurora from the comfort of your room, is also located nearby.
BEST SEASON/October ~ March
ACCESS/ Multiple daily flights from Helsinki to Ivalo takes approximately 90 minutes.

2.Reykjavik


Reykjavik, Iceland is the world’s northernmost capital. With a population of just 120,00, this compact city offers potential viewing of aurora wavering between its low lying buildings for 8 months of the year. If you want less city lights, a 20 minute drive to Seltjarnarnes on the coast offers the clearest views.
BEST SEASON/September to April.
ACCESS/Keflavík International Airport is approximately 3 hours flight from European hubs such as London, Amsterdam and Copenhagen.

3.Fairbanks


Fairbanks is the second largest city in Alaska after Anchorage. Winter temperatures can drop as low as -30 to -50℃, but the rate of fine weather offering prime opportunities to view the aurora are high. Aurora can be seen from the city itself, or 100km away the Chena Hot Springs Resort offers clearer views from its large open air thermal baths.
BEST SEASON/Late August to March
ACCESS/Seattle to Fairbanks International Airport takes approximately 4 hours.

4.Tasmania


The winds that blow from the South Pole are said to contain the world’s cleanest air. Many travel to Tasmania simply to view the incredibly clear celestial night sky, however the Southern Lights (aurora australis) are also viewable from here and in parts of New Zealand. The appearance rate is highest during early summer, providing the unique possibility of viewing the aurora in a t-shirt. Red and purple hued aurora are most common.
BEST SEASON/2〜10月
ACCESS/Sydney to Hobart Airport is a 2 hour flight.

TRANSIT Issue 34 "Luminous Towns of Aurora” ¥1,800 + tax



TRANSIT Issue 34 "Luminous Towns of Aurora” follows the light of the aurora around the earth, with a particular focus on Finland, Alaska and Greenland. The book in book ‘Aurora Viewing Guide’ introduced here, also provides additional information such as "How to shoot the aurora?"
An in-depth explanation of the science behind the phenomenon, along with an introduction to the rich culture and folk arts of the indigneous people living in the areas where aurora are prevalent. In the second part of the special issue, the indigenous Ainu people of Japan’s northern most island, Hokkaido, are featured. TRANSIT Issue 34 is filled with images and articles covering the beautiful landscapes and people of the aurora.

TRANSIT Issue 34 "Luminous Towns of Aurora”
Release Date/16 December 2016 (Fri)
Cost/¥1800 + tax
Produced by/euphoria factory
Distributed by/Kodansha

WHAT TO WEAR?

Once the decision to travel to see the aurora has been made, the next thing to consider is what to bring. The possibility of an aurora trip involving long periods spent under the night sky at temperatures as low as -30°C is a likely one. What kind of equipment do you need for these sorts of conditions? The following items are recommended by COVERCHORD to provide the protection and comfort you need in potentially challenging environments viewing aurora.





TOPS

1. Long sleeved thermal underwear. Due to perspiration, wool or synthetic fibers that are quick drying are essential for clothing that is in direct contact with the skin. 2. Turtle neck or a long sleeve mid-layer. 3. Wool or technical fleece top. 4. Finally a fully windproof and waterproof hooded jacket.



BOTTOMS

1. As with the tops, quick drying wool or synthetic fiber thermal underwear. 2. It is advisable to wear relaxed fitting pants. One size up is recommended. Avoid cotton chino and denim as these fabrics do not provide protection against cold. 3. Select an outerlayer that is both waterproof and windproof. Something with polyester or down filling is best.



OTHERS

HEAD/A warm knit beanie and that offers maximum heat retention and a neck warmer that covers the mouth and nose, minimizing exposure to the cold. HANDS/5 finger gloves that offer plenty of mobility + mittens on top. FEET/Thick socks suitable for mountain wear + ankle length or higher boots with 3cm or thicker sole.

Text/Maki Tsuga(euphoria factory)
English Translation/Sam Fitzgerald (TNP)