Swiss Aurora Borealis – Northern Lights here?!

Never thought I’d see such a spectacular display of the Northern Lights in Switzerland.



Note 1: I was fishing the entire day, taking macro photographs of underwater insects, so I was quite tired at the end of the day (and night).

Note 2: There is an upcoming post about my trip to Norway to see the Northern Lights. I haven’t finished the video yet, but it will be online soon!

Macro Photograph of a Caddis Larvae
Macro Photograph of a Caddis Larvae
Macro Photograph of a Brown Trout Fin
Macro Photograph of a Brown Trout Fin
Swiss Aurora 2024
Swiss Aurora 2024

Unexpected

It was one of those days. The Third time this year the forecast predicted the chance of seeing northern lights in Switzerland. The previous times the northern lights didn’t live up to many expectations of fellow photographers, so I wasn’t that thrilled anymore. I didn’t expect it would be any good this time either. However, my friend Mike sent me a gorgeous photograph at 10:30 pm when I was about to get ready for bed – yes, I go to bed quite early.

Packing for a quick outdoor trek was already done.
Packing for a quick outdoor trek was already done. (Sea to Summit Spark II Sleeping bag)

Swiss Aurora Borealis

This totally changed the outcome of the night, and I was quickly about to hit the road. Luckily, I had already packed my bag for a night out (except for the sleeping bag). That’s because it is prime time to photograph the milky way core. I had this shot in my mind – the Mythen, a wonderful mountain standing awe-inspiringly tall above the town Schwyz with the core of the milky way. So, when I got out instead of looking for the next hill to see the northern lights, I ended up driving another hour and fifteen minutes, to witness the spectacle at this magnificent location.

Mythen Region Kanton Schwyz
Mythen Region Kanton Schwyz
Swiss Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) above Mythen 2024
Swiss Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) above Mythen 2024

Finally Northern Lights in Switzerland

However, I still wasn’t convinced of how amazing it was going to be. So, I parked the car and hiked up the hill for the milky way shot (facing south) but when my eyes adapted to the low light condition, I was able to see the northern lights dancing across the sky over Switzerland. Taking a few timelapses (1s f/1.8 iso 3200), I decided to relocate to get a better foreground.

This proofed to be more difficult than anticipated and took me another hour, because all the spots I drove to were not accessible or didn’t have an unobstructed view. Ending up at the valley of the town Schwyz, I took my last timelapse at about 3am, before I succumbed to exhaustion and slept in my car for 3h before driving home.

Here’s the timelapses I got from this spontaneous once-in-a-lifetime adventure:

 

 

Swiss Aurora
Swiss Aurora

  1. Isaac

    Love your pics and writing.. am going to keep checking just for updates and new stuff.
    From an English speaker making a way in Ostschweiz

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