Thursday, November 1, 2012

Aurora Borealis

Interior Alaska was treated to quite an aurora show last night. On my flight home from Anchorage I saw the the lights from the plane. They were were dancing unlike I'd seen them before.

Here's a picture someone shared on Facbook of his plane ride leaving Fairbanks early this morning. This is very similar to what I saw last night.

Once the plane landed I drove out of town a ways to keep watching. I figured since I was already up and dressed for the cold I might as well take advantage of the situation. The moon was bright which typically hampers you're ability to see the lights, but not last night! They were outstanding. It's too bad they are best seen after 1am. I was super tired, but when the lights are out like this, you can't *not* stay up and watch them.

Surprisingly I didn't see any other "Aurora Chasers". Usually when the aurora is bright and active like last night, you'll see many people stopped along the side of the road. I didn't see anyone out and about. This is another picture from last night (not taken by me) and again, is similar to what I was watching.

The lights change so quickly as you watch them. They aren't static and constantly change formation. Of course my aurora watching couldn't go perfectly smooth. I don't know how I did this but I accidentally set off the panic button on my car. While I was sitting in the car. I think I jumped -- it scared the crap out of me. I never use the panic button it so it took me some fumbling and button pushing before I turned it off. Most likely it didn't beep for long but it felt like ten minutes. Fortunately I was a bit of a distance from any houses, but close enough that I'm sure I woke someone up.