Monday, March 6, 2017

Alaskan Skies and The Northern Lights

Only in the Western desert have I seen starry skies to rival this. Prompting me to wonder if a meteor shower has ever been captured on video in Alaska

Meteor Shower and Aurora in Alaskan Night Skies


When the boys were little we would bundle them outside in the dark on a quilt spread on the ground and watch as the Persids, Leonoids, and Geminids would streak through our Indiana skies. Often with hot chocolate. Sometimes with a small telescope.

On August 5, 2009, Bill and I were treated to a rare occurrence as the Northern Lights dipped low reaching Western Indiana...and we stood in the country darkness of the small town we were living, hand in hand...watching in awe. Not expecting the crackling hiss sound that sometimes accompanied it. A bit humbled. We had both lived well over 40 years at the time and never seen The Lights before. And so glad we were able to together.

Instead of primarily greenish....they appeared quite reddish and yellow and even a few streaks of green and blue as they danced in the crisp Indiana air.

Because of the magnetic fields at the poles, Alaska often get a wonderful display.

Imagine what the first travellers to these areas must have thought at the ribbons and bands of green dancing in the night skies!

The Aurora is an incredible light show caused by collisions between electrically charged particles released from the sun that enter the earth's atmosphere and collide with gases such as oxygen and nitrogen. The lights are seen around the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres

A shot by NASA from Space.

A KP Map showing how far the Northern Lights dip occasionally. We cannot see them until KP 7 is reached.

Service Aurora provides a forecast for those of us living further South than Alaska, and predicts pretty reliably when they may be seen in your area.

As well as sky cams set up in various locations to view The Northern Lights in live time elsewhere.

An amazing Compilation of the Northern Lights

and a Time Lapse Show from Alaska

So check out the sky cams.

See if the Service shows a date or time for your city.

And remember to look up!

More anon...