Friday, December 3, 2010

Northern Lights!

Since I arrived in Fairbanks, Alaska, I've been waiting for Aurora Borealis photo opportunities... In order to see the Northern Lights, the sky has to be clear. If it's overcast, we won't be able to see it. We had many snowy days and some rainy days (rain is unusual for Fairbanks in late November!) Appearance of the northern lights are hard to predict... It may show up anytime during the long night especially between midnight and early morning. It may last only a few minutes or hours.... Aurora photography requires a lot of "patience" and coffee.

My first Northern Lights sight was a thin white line... It looked like a wide airplane cloud in the sky among the bright stars. The white light got a bit brighter and stayed for about 10 min and faded out. It wasn't an impressive display but I was excited to see my first Northern Lights!
The next night, a little better northern lights came out. I was up until 1am, waiting for the lights in the dark... The faint green light band appeared over the mountain.... I hurried to set my camera up... it disappeared really quick... I barley captured a slight green light... That was my first aurora shot.

It was snowing for a week after those 2 nights... Finally the sky cleared again. I was on the snow coach to climb up the hill. Snow was deeper on top of the hill, and thin spruce trees were coated with snow. It was so pure and quiet. I felt a sense of pristine Alaskan wilderness. As soon as I got up on the hill, the Northern Lights appeared! A faint green arch stayed on the northern sky for a long while. Then, it slowly faded.
The Aurora was come and go until late that night. The shape was slowly changing... 3 green light bands with a faint red color...
The finale was a wide light curtains in the sky!
It was an amazing show of mother earth. I can't wait to see the next one! However, it was very cold.