Early in 2013, astrophotographer Dennis Mammana captured stunning images of an aurora from the same ship our tour group will be on starting Thursday. // Dennis Mammana
After four flights in 24 hours, I'm finally in Oslo, Norway, along with 17 other astronomy enthusiasts, to start a northern lights adventure with Astronomy
's tour partner, MWT Associates
. Of course, my travel isn't over — we still have one more flight early tomorrow morning to Kirkenes — but it's finally hit me that I'm on a trip I've been waiting for basically since I started at the magazine.
You see, the last (and only) time I've ever seen an aurora was when I was in grade school in Wisconsin, but it was faint, and my memory of it isn't that vivd. So, I'm anxious for our group's cruise along the Norwegian coast to bask under the dancing northern lights. The phenomenon is something I've always wanted to see as an adult because I've always been blown away by the photographers of them — and those who have observed aurorae say photographers never do them justice.
We'll board the MS Midnatsol in Kirkenes on Thursday for a six-day southbound trip with stops all along Norway's scenic coast. And each night, we'll stay up late hoping for clear skies and aurorae. We have some photographers with us, so even if my (admittedly limited) skills fail to deliver results, others should.