Arrival in Kiruna I made it across the polar circle yesterday!

This is my third time in Lapland:

During parental leave in 2014 we drove to North Cape with our camper van in summer to see the midnight sun. Back then I fell in love with this part of the world.

In 2016 we returned for a winter holiday in Ivalo, Finland. I started to like the snow as well (I was more a hot desert type of person).

Anyway two stop-overs and I am in Kiruna, North Sweden. A mining town with lots of lights. I picked up luggage and rental car within 15 mins and the walk from airplane to parking lot is 3 mins. this is a relaxing airport.

Everything seems very bright. I took some illuminance measurements and they were OK between 10lx and 55lx.

So how bright is the night sky? First SQM reading near airport was 19.3 mag/arcsec^2 in downtown Kiruna (near the Sami church) it was 17.7 mag/arcsec^2. There were no visible clouds that time.

Kiruna from above

No way you can mix up flights here...only one aircraft at a time :D

The "snowfield" has a nice floodlight so you cant miss the airport

Sami church in Kiruna

This is Kiruna central everything appears bright lamp in front has 10lx on ground lamp in back 55 lx on ground - not too crazy but the snow makes it look bright



  1. Not too crazy? As road lighting is normally measured by luminance, they could reduce lighting levels by at least a factor of 5-6. And nobody in the streets? So they could save a lot of energy and keep the sky darker....

    1. You are absolutely right! There is plenty of potential to reduce light levels up here, use on-demand lighting, late-night reduction etc. I meant not "Rathenow-crazy" ;)

  2. Good luck for clear and dark skies, Andy!


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