Photo #1203 – 03.01.12
Green Aurora in the Yukon Territory
This is admittedly a poor photo, but even if it had been an outstanding photo, it would still fall very short in describing the awe-inspiring display of aurora I saw one night in the Yukon. These streaks of electric green were criss-crossing the sky when my fieldwork partner noticed them on a trip to the outhouse (thank goodness for that outhouse!). The snowy mountains were already lit up from a nearly-full moon as we watched the show from the frozen river in front of our cabin. This is one of a few photos I took when it first started…but then I forgot about the camera as I became fully immersed in the lights overhead. The green soon turned to shades of pink and white, and flittering ribbons of light transformed into rapidly pulsating sheets of light. The peak lasted about 10 minutess, during which I was looking straight up at a display of energy that is not possible to describe. As this perfect Yukon night came to an end, all I can remember thinking over and over is, “Wow”.
If you are reading this on March 7th or 8th, be on the lookout for aurora in the northern sky! The impact from a large solar flare is due to produce some sort of auroral activity starting in the early hours of the 8th (and possibly through to the 9th), and while folks in the northernmost states will likely have the best chance to see aurora, there’s no telling how far south the lights might extend. Check out Spaceweather.com for more details, and hope for clear skies!