Aurora Hunting

A couple of weeks ago I went out with some friends in the wee hours to search for the Aurora Borealis, aka the Northern Lights. For those that may not know, the Northern Lights are bands of color (mostly green) that stretch and curl and snake and dance across the sky. They are caused when particles from solar flares connect with Earth’s atmosphere. So, in general, the bigger the flares, the better chance we have of seeing them. Naturally, you can only see them when it’s dark. That equals winter time in Alaska (since it doesn’t get dark enough to see them in the summer).

When we went a few weeks ago the temperature was hovering around 15-20 at midnight and there was barely any snow. We didn’t get lucky that time, but we did get some fun pictures of the full moon behind the clouds and mountains!

MidnightMoon1

Last night I was questioning going out. See, I just received my new planner and I had it all filled in starting with a 6 am workout and a tight schedule the rest of the day.

But the sky was clear and the temps were cold frigid and that usually indicates a good chance of seeing the lights. So I put 4 layers of my husband’s warmest gear on, grabbed a cardboard box to stand on, and we took off. I feel like you need to know it was -11 degrees and we got home at 3 in the morning. Totally worth it.

NorthernLights1
On the Knik River looking north towards Palmer and Wasilla, AK

Joy of joys, the lights started before we even got to our spot! It didn’t end up being a big, bright show, but it was still beautiful and magical and breathtaking. Plus, the stars were on full display out there in the dark of Alaska. If you ever have a chance, I beg you to come see the lights. You won’t regret it.

NorthernLights3

NorthernLights2
Those squiggly lines are one of NASA’s little rockets. They send them up to measure Aurora activity. I thought it was an alien. Or Jesus returning.
StarsandLights
The stars and the lights. I felt like I was in a planetarium!
MoonReflection
Ok, not the lights, but moon + fog + river = lovely.

Alright, alright, I need to get back to schooling the kids and cleaning the house. As much as I’d like to curl up and nap.

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