Aurora Science Centre -project

The preliminary study project of the Science Center Aurora is a collaborative project, where the main executor of the project is the municipality of Sodankylä, and the sub-executor is the Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory/ University of Oulu. The Science Center Aurora preliminary study project is funded by Lapland Regional Council from the European Regional Development Fund.

Sodankylä is an important Lappish center of expertise in the core of the polar region. Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory has been operating in the area for over a hundred years due to its geomagnetically central location and is responsible for e.g. the international aurora borealis research. Currently, Sodankylä observatory area offers the world’s most comprehensive monitoring of the Arctic region based on its own measuring devices and measurements. The observatory has measuring devices in more than 20 measurement locations from Svalbard to Antarctica. ln the near future, measurement activities will expand into space with the LappiSat- satellite program.

Sodankylä is located in the Central Lapland Greenstone Belt, which is why the mineral potential of the area is aisa very significant. There is ane operating mine in the area and two mining projects, and the mineral research has important regional economic effects – about 70 % of the mineral exploration currently carried out in Finland is done on the Sodankylä-Kittilä axis. Sustainability and responsibility are the basic pillars of modern mining and mineral exploration, and Sodankylä’s mining companies play a key role in the development and implementation of national operating principles for the industry. ln addition, the municipality of Sodankylä has carried out several projects promoting sustainable mining, e.g. Regina-project prepared a mining program for the municipality for the years 2018-2021.

Both the research carried out at Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory (e.g. monitoring ofchanges in the radio environment, long-term monitoring of natural threats, 24/7 monitoring and warning of space threats) and the mining operations and the related RDI (e.g. metals needed by a modern and fossil-free society) in the area support Finland’s and Lapland’s, but aisa the global green transition. ln addition to these, tourism is an important industry in Sodankylä, and its development towards a constantly more sustainable direction is consonant to the strategy of the Lapland Agreement. All three sectors create jobs and vitality in Sodankylä and in Lapland.

The international Aurora Science Centre would serve as a showcase for Sodankylä’s Lappish national landscape, the cutting-edge research and sustainable mining carried out in the region, and would be an ideal platform for start-ups and innovation activities. Thus, it would base its operations on Lapland’s smart specialization strategy. lt would attract visitors from near and far and generate new business in accordance with the goals of the Lapland Arctic Competence Centre’s roadmap.

ln the preliminary study  will be surveyed the demand and preconditions for a high-quality science center, even in an international comparison. lt would work as a tourist attraction. ln the preliminary study, the concept design of the science center would be carried out in cooperation between RDI operators and the business world, the spaces needed for different functions would be considered (exhibitions, small group teaching, meetings and services )


  • The project duration is 12 months.
  • The main executor of the project is the municipality of Sodankylä, and the sub-executor is the Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory/ University of Oulu.
  • The project is funded by the Regional Council of Lapland from the European Regional Development Fund.