Tag Archives: aurora

Return of the Aurora

We’ve had a lot of cloud cover the past month or so, and I’ve seen some faint aurora glow recently, but last night the northern lights put on a phenomenal show. It was a wide path of phosphorescent, green light across the planet’s roof for close to an hour. I had been outside, enjoying the show for thirty minutes, before I thought, “Maybe I should grab a camera.” It’s never my first instinct.


Aurora Watch in July?

Not this far North…

In an interesting twist, according to NOAA, Sunday night will be offering a great chance to see some Northern Lights, assuming you are someplace south of Canada in the U.S. Northern Europe looks good, as does the middle of Russia.

Right now, I’ll take the daylight, and the Twin Cities can have some Aurora action. No sense rushing what is coming.

Aurora Map courtesy of NOAA


First Light Show of the Season

Aurora 8/31

The Aurora Borealis put on quite a show Wednesday night. The wave of green and magenta light, flowed and pulsed among the starlight, filling much of our sky. It was the first I have seen the Northern Lights this season, and I was not prepared. I didn’t want to risk taking the dead Go-Pro off of the tripod, so these photos were snapped free-hand with the cell phone.

Aurora 2 8/31

Eventually, the lights faded from overhead, and moved off to brighten the horizon for close to another hour. It felt good to welcome the Aurora back to our night skies.


Word of the day: Viridescent

Aurora over Fairbanks

Adjective: Greenish hue, becoming green

Photo courtesy of the University of Alaska – Fairbanks


The Northern Lights

Northern Light in Alaska

We have had some brilliant displays of the aurora here in Interior Alaska the past couple of weeks. Even now, after all these years in Alaska, the northern lights never fail to stop me in my tracks. Which makes the past fortnight all the more enjoyable, because it has not been forty degrees below zero when I did stand outside to watch them light up the sky.

Interestingly, retired Professor Charles Deehr of the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, who now puts up the UAF Geophysical Institute’s aurora forecast, stated that the recent intense activity is only 1/3 of the level it reached at its peak in 1959.

Wow.

I’ve seen some incredible aurora displays, which really piques my interest at what it would look like amped up by three times.

1959 in Alaska, must have been quite the experience, on far more levels than just the one. I have no doubt, that I would have liked it even more.


A Revisit

High Impact Aurora

13 December 2006

The aurora flowed like a great river;
an inverted Yukon meandering across the sky.
Time lapsed. Banks eroded. The brilliant green
river changed its course.
Then drought hit, and the powerful flow was reduced
to a faint puddle, a dim shimmer.
The sky was quiet.

With an explosion, the aurora returned as a wall of thunderheads.
Imposing. Inspiring. Pulsing.
The lower layer of the wall of light was magenta.
The aurora’s lightning.
Thin lines of green light dropped down from the glowing storm.
Like sheets of rain falling on the distant hills.

Photo courtesy of the Daily News-Miner


A Good Way to Start the New Year

It’s a rare event in January, for me to look at the temperatures across the country, and see that Fairbanks is 20 degrees warmer than Minneapolis and only 20 degrees cooler than San Antonio. I was able to see that beautiful trifecta tonight.

The temp in Minneapolis: -10 degs
in Fairbanks: +10 degs
in San Antonio: +30 degs

To top it all off, the skies were clear here, and the aurora was humming across the horizon.

Priceless.