Aurora hunting in Tromsø

Georgie CollinsGeorgie Collins
  8 April 2019

From 3-5 March 2019, the EJR-Quartz team helped organise the #AuroraHunters, another great Social Space gathering for the European Space Agency. The event demonstrated that frigid cold weather and long journeys in no way dampen the public’s enthusiasm for space!

EJR-Quartz team members Daniel Scuka and Rosa Jesse worked with colleagues from ESA, the Norwegian Space Agency and OHB Systems, Bremen, as well as several partner companies and institutes, to ensure that the 32 intrepid invitees from around the world had a whale of a time in Tromsø, Norway.

The group of space science enthusiasts – from 13 countries – spent two and a half days searching for the fabled northern lights, visiting the local cluster of innovative space organisations including EISCAT (European Incoherent Scatter Scientific Association) and KSAT (Kongsberg Satellite Services), touring the old Tromsø Geophysical Observatory and learning about the amazing science behind ‘space weather’, the term used to describe our Sun’s effects on the environment around Earth.

There was also time for some non-space related activities, including an afternoon cruise to an abandoned Cold War submarine base, a cable car ride to the heights across from the city at night and a visit to the old fish museum, capped off with a tasting of the original – and appallingly awful – cod liver oil.

The #AuroraHunters demonstrated yet again that an effective way to communicate about space science is to simply get out there and spend time with the people who are curious about our place in the cosmos. And if that includes sipping hot beverages while standing out on a frozen lake for a night’s worth of aurora viewing, then so much the better!