Saturday, April 23, 2011

Blaze in the Zenith: The Northern Lights

Spectacular Northern Lights occur at the time of magnetic storms, and when the sun's activity releases solar flares.
In early March, another amazing Aurora was displayed for two nights! The lights were very bright; clear and vivid even in the southern parts of Alaska!

Here in the interior Alaska, right below the Arctic Circle, the brilliant neon green was a waving tapestry of light draped across a nearly full moon.

The huge zenithal fires blazed the entire sky with the edges displaying a rarely seen purple color! The amazing Northern lights show went on and on... At its zenith, the Aurora corona appeared like fireworks!
In older times, Alaskan Natives believed countless myths about the Northern Lights. Many of them feared the active display of the Aurora. Some believed that the Aurora were the spirits of dead ancestors playing a ball game with a walrus skull. Interesting, isn't it?

My short photography excursion will be coming soon. I'll take another Alaska Marine Highway ferry from Whittier to Juneau at the end of April offering many opportunities for dramatic landscapes. I will then explore Sitka, an historic southeast Alaska town, for a week in early May. I'll keep updating new photos and stories in this blog. Please check back soon.