ESA title
Enabling & Support

Join the #AuroraHunters

17/01/2019 8872 views 81 likes
ESA / Enabling & Support / Operations

It’s difficult to comprehend the size and sheer power of our Sun, a churning ball of hot gas 4.6 billion years old and 1.3 million times larger than Earth, which emits solar wind — the constant stream of electrons, protons and atomic particles — and routinely lashes out with Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs), outbursts of colossal clouds of solar plasma flung into space.

The most extreme events, arrivals of fast CMEs or high-speed solar-wind streams, disturb our protective magnetic shield, creating geomagnetic storms at Earth.

One of the most visible — and fabulously beautiful — effects of this 'space weather' on our planet are the aurora borealis, the famous 'northern lights' that dance across the high (and low) latitudes.

Aurora borealis above Tromsø
Aurora borealis above Tromsø

Throughout human history, spectacular auroral eruptions have given rise to fearful beliefs of mythological creatures, have driven folklore and have influenced culture, religion and art.

ESA and the Norwegian Space Centre invite you to join us on a quest to understand, seek and experience these polar lights, and learn how Europe is taking action to study, detect and warn of the potential risks to our techological era occasioned by extreme space weather events.

Join SocialSpace #AuroraHunters 3-5 March

Are you passionate about our planet and keen to learn from renowned European experts about how our Sun influences our lives on Earth? And − just maybe − spot some aurora yourself? Then ESA’s next SocialSpace event is for you.

We are inviting a select group of up to 30 intrepid aurora hunters to join us on 3–5 March in Tromsø, Norway.

Not sure what space weather is? Or how ESA is playing a key role in helping boost Europe's ability to detect, predict and protect society from potential space weather effcts on our satellites and ground infrastruture, like power grids?? Click here to learn more!

Apply to join

As an #AuroraHunter SocialSpace participant, you will have opportunities to:

  • Meet and interact with ESA and European space weather scientists 
  • Receive briefings and updates on solar physics, space weather, aurora borealis, space technology and current developments in Europe's space weather warning missions and services
  • Learn about ESA’s space safety and security activities
  • Visit the world-famous Tromsø Geophysical Observatory
  • Join a wildlife-viewing boat cruise
  • Join a guided 'aurora hunting' expedition

The full programme is now being confirmed and will be communicated separately, later.

Dates, times and venue

Dress warm!
Dress warm!

Our event will be held from the evening of Sunday, 3 March, through to the evening of Tuesday, 5 March, based at the Scandic Ishavshotel hotel in central Tromsø.

To apply, please complete the application form online via:


Apply online here

Be sure to include your name, social media name(s) and contact information, and − most importantly – a few words describing your motivation or interest in joining.

Applications may be submitted for one person only and are non-transferable. Please do not submit multiple applications. All applicants must be at least 18 years old on 3 March 2019.

Please read the full terms and conditions before completing your application.

Some WiFi access and lunches and dinners will be provided. Individual participants are responsible for all other travel, accommodation – for which ESA has negotiated a discounted group rate at the Scandic Ishavshotel hotel as one good option, and miscellaneous expenses. The event will be held in English. Questions can be answered in a variety of languages on an as-available basis.

The application period closes 1 February 2019 at 11:00 GMT (12:00 CET)


Once all applications have been reviewed, an invitation email with confirmation information and additional instructions will be sent to the selected participants and to those on the waiting list no later than 4 February. We will keep you posted of progress.

On Twitter, follow @Social4Space and @esaoperations, and visit the SocialSpace blog for the latest news. We will use these channels to post updates about the event.

The official hashtag for the event is #AuroraHunter.

Questions? Send an email to or tweet using the hashtag #AuroraHunter.

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