We are a dedicated team of northern lights chasers who have come from a background of chasing auroras in our own time for free to becoming professional aurora chasers and doing this for a living. Despite the fact we now get paid to find the northern lights, we still have “the bug” for the aurora, and we put 110% effort into getting under the northern lights at every opportunity for the absolute love of it. You are in good hands with us.
Tony (Founder of AST)
Brit expat. Emigrated to Finland in 2010.
Piritta (Office Manager)
Erja (Bookings & Customer Service)
Angus – Guide
Darren – Guide
Nigel – Guide
Aurora Service was originally set up by me, Tony. A long time ago I was actually British, but I left there in my mid twenties, after doing a bit of travelling and finally settled in Finland. That was some years ago now (as I am approaching my mid thirties) but one of the best decisions I ever made. My northern lights “addiction” came by chance. As I was standing in the snow on a bitter cold night after a sauna, I was looking up at an incredible star filled sky when something green appeared. At first I thought it was cloud, but then after a while, I started realising it was a bit special. So I put some clothes on and went back out in search for that green cloud (which I now know was a diffuse aurora). The Green cloud turned into an explosion of colours as (I now know) I was witnessing my first geomagnetic storm. I was hopping around like a maniac in the middle of a snow covered farmers field as I was witnessing this awesome show in the sky. I didn’t even have a tripod for my camera and I was frantically trying to make a mound out of snow to lay the camera on. But those few minutes of glorious action and a few badly taken pictures was all it took, I was hooked!
So I’ve personally been chasing auroras in Finland for 6 years now. Not a night has gone by in all that time where I haven’t checked the solar wind data or had a quick glance at the recent solar activity before going to bed. It is safe to say, I eat, sleep and breath auroras. Indeed, where as most people like their house with a southern exposure to catch the sun, I done the opposite and actually moved to a house facing North, so I could keep an eye on the northern horizon (where the auroras are).
After a few years of aurora chasing I created a website exclusive to European aurora activity. Aurora Service was born. Providing useful information, tools and tactics on how you can see Northern Lights in your area (in the event of a geomagnetic storm mainly, just like I did on that cold night!). It has been a great success, I have had many people contact me, thanking me for making the website as it has enabled them to see the Northern Lights for the first time!
It’s a great feeling knowing that you have helped people see this amazing phenomenon. And it is that feeling that has led me to where I am today, offering to take people out personally to see the northern lights. Because that feeling is what makes it all worthwhile.
I have been doing this (aurora chasing) a long time, I have experienced every emotion there is. From tears of euphoria watching an amazing show, to tears of sorrow that a show you were expecting never materialised. I have been through it all.
It is that I think that sets us apart from other Aurora companies, who perhaps never experienced all that. They are going out aurora chasing because they are getting paid to do it. I have been going out aurora chasing for years for the love of it. Standing alone on a frozen lake at 3am staring up at a star filled sky for hours, waiting & hoping for something magical to happen. It’s moments like that are defining moments in life. Time appears to stand still momentarily, you are completely detached from your daily life and the feeling can be sometimes, magical.
It is for that purpose we didn’t set up our tours in the normal touristy areas. The feeling of being alone, in the nature, watching this spectacle unfolding before your eyes is a very powerful feeling and you just wouldn’t get that being near a city with noise, lights and bus loads of other northern lights chasers around you. We are in an unspoilt wilderness, one of the most sparcely populated regions of Europe where the Reindeers vastly out number the humans!
It is also for that reason we go out chasing auroras as we always have, before we were a company. In business, every cent is counted, so some business’s won’t stay out too late, or use too much diesel driving to find auroras, because it is not cost effective. We don’t care for any of that, we will chase the lights as hard as we always have. If it means driving 150km north, south east or west, so be it. If it means staying out until 3 am, so be it. Like our motto has always said, it’s all about the lights and so the northern lights are the priority and everything else comes second (except safety of course!).
We look forward to chasing the lights with you 🙂
Tony & the Aurora Service Tours team.