by Lotte De Maeyer
Going sampling in winter brings along more difficult logistics and harder working conditions. It’s completely dark most of the day and your sampling material has the tendency to freeze. Nonetheless it’s not all that bad. Being in the dark 24 hours a day gives you the opportunity to see the amazing northern lights. With its 78° north Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard is supposed to be a little bit too high up north to see the big northern lights however, they are still there and a real spectacle to see. The first week in Ny-Ålesund I was checking the forecast continuously and waking up at night to hopefully see them but it was with little success. I was slightly giving up after sleeping through a really amazing northern light that apparently everybody in the village had seen except me until returning from the Saturday dinner and somebody yelled northern lights. Looking up at the sky we could see these amazing colours dancing in the sky. Finally I saw the aurora borealis and it was magnificent.
photo credit: ©Bin Li