Aurora Borealis

Aurora in Alaska

The Northern Lights

I think I could have stayed in Alaska for the rest of my life watching the aurora, and would never have gotten bored doing so. The constantly changing and moving aurora display was fascinating. I was mesmerized by it!

Views from space show that the aurora displays fall in a rough circle, called the auroral oval, centered around the magnetic poles. As the activity of the solar wind increases during a solar storm or as a result of a coronal mass ejection, the auroral oval expands and produces auroral displays that are visible from lower latitudes. The chance of this occurring is greater at the peak of the 11-year sun spot cycle, but such events can happen anytime. During one such occasion, I had the opportunity to witness a brief aurora at my home in Scottsdale, Arizona.

This shot was taken with a 35mm Nikon F2 camera using a 28mm lens and Kodak Royal Gold ISO 400 color print film.

March 1, 2003 at 0830 U.T.
Photo by Sid Leach
Chena Hot Springs, Alaska.

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