Tag Archives: aurora

“Aurora Chaser”

This is a brilliant, short film by Vincent Ledvina of the Aurora Borealis in Churchill, Manitoba. He has some incredible footage on his youtube channel of the Aurora in Alaska, as well.

I recently came across his photography, because of the above time lapse video, and I thought I’d share his work here on Circle to Circle.

Even after all the years I’ve spent in the North, the Northern Lights never fail to stop me in my tracks. Looking at these images, I think it’s pretty easy to see why.

Don’t forget to look up.


Bright Lights

NOAA’s Aurora Forecast

Weather permitting, we are looking at some phenomenal aurora viewing over the next few nights. Halloween weekend also looks to be quite good for viewing.

Image credit: UAF’s Geophysical Institute


Alaskan Landscape

An untitled, oil on canvas of an Alaskan landscape, by Bob Ross; 1981

Nenana in oil

Oil painting of Nenana, Alaska under the northern lights by Carl Saxild, Circa 1937

Musher under the northern lights

An undated and untitled painting by Magnus “Rusty” Heurlin; Currently located at the Anchorage Museum

The Return of the Lights

Graphic credit: NWS/NOAA

As we slide into the Dark Abyss that is winter, there is one phenomenon that makes up for our shortened days: The Northern Lights.

With a geomagnetic storm in progress, and a forecast of clear skies, the first aurora of the season may be visible over the cabin in the next few days.


Hoarding Daylight

Moose tracks

It’s still winter in Alaska: it was -10F on Sunday morning, and expected to drop to -20F Monday night, but the switch has been flipped. The sled dogs are running, the ice carvings are on display, and the aurora shows itself almost nightly.

March in Alaska.

Already, we have over 13 hours of visible light during the day, and our days are gaining length by almost 7 minutes with each spin of the Earth.

March is a beautiful time in Alaska’s Interior.


“Aurora Borealis”

Oil on canvas, by Frederic Edwin Church; Circa 1865

Frederic Edwin Church based the above painting on the sketches from the Isaac Israel Hayes’ 1860-61 polar expedition.


Nanuqsaurus

The Nanuqsaurus; Image credit: CBC

Fossils of the previously unknown species of dinosaur were discovered in Alaska’s North Slope in 2006. A cousin of the T-Rex, the Nanuqsaurus (polar bear-lizard) was originally thought to be approximately half the size of a T-Rex, but more recent evidence points to the Arctic dino as being in the size range of the Albertosaurus.

The Nanuqsaurus roamed what is now Alaska some 70 million years ago, and new findings have evidence of the species living in what is now Denali National Park.

The reconstructed skull of a Nanuqsaurus in the Perot Museum


Holidaze Travel

The Aurora Winter Train, Alaska Railroad Depot; Fairbanks

I had several friends travel Outside over the Holidays, while I was quite content to enjoy the cabin life in Fairbanks. Getting out wasn’t the problem. It was getting back to Alaska which has proved challenging. Most friends had layovers in Seattle, which were long enough to officially be reclassified as detours. One had a detour in Anchorage; getting oh so close to Fairbanks, but yet divided by a mountain of snow.

Two friends attempted to travel from Arizona to Fairbanks. There was a detour in Seattle, followed by a last minute flight to Anchorage. A second detour was then encountered. All flights between Alaska’s largest cities were booked out for days. Determined to get home, they booked a ride on the Alaska Railroad. I was excited for them, probably more excited than they were. I have never ridden that set of rails in the winter.

Out of the blue, I received a text from them. They were in Denali Park. “How long is this ride?” they asked. I hesitated, but eventually told them it was a 12 hour trip. One way. The Alaska Railroad is not high speed travel.

Late on New Year’s Day, I get a call. Taxis from the depot are three hours out. It’s -35F, but I head out the door to provide pickup/limo service.

The locomotive did look good, all decked out in Christmas lights.