Humans have been fascinated by this unpredictable, eerie light show for centuries. But it’s amazing how little we know about the science behind it.
The thermometer on the car is reading -22C. Outside, we are standing in snow up to my knees. We’re in a region called Inari in Finnish Lapland, inside the Arctic Circle, the nearest town is some kilometres to the south of us. You would be forgiven for thinking you were in Narnia, next to a frozen lake and surrounded by snow-topped pine trees. I can see more stars then I have ever seen before and some of the constellations such as Cassiopeia are difficult to spot, the sky is so free from light pollution. Which is supposedly the ideal place to do what I am doing; I’m one of a small group of people in search of the Northern Lights.