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Northern lights over Fairbanks, Alaska on March 16, 2012

By Troutnut on March 16th, 2012
Well, this isn't a fishing post, but when all the fish are under four feet of ice and snow, we have to look elsewhere for entertainment. Elsewhere... like up.

Intense sunspot activity for the last week or so has painted faint bands of aurora across the sky in Fairbanks pretty much every recent night that we could see them through the clouds. Mostly, these slow-moving pale green stripes aren't anything to get excited about in Fairbanks. Last night, we finally had the right combination of a clear sky and a more intense aurora, and I had my camera out on the deck at the right time.

The display was pretty good for half an hour or so, but the most intense activity lasted just a couple minutes. Green and red waves swirled rapidly overhead like someone was mixing them with an eggbeater. I didn't catch that on camera, but I did catch some of the shimmering green waves that followed. After the most impressive action, I went back to work and enjoyed the diffuse green glow out my window.

Photos by Troutnut from Miscellaneous Alaska in Alaska

Here's the view from my front porch in Fairbanks, Alaska, during a nice auroral display. From Fairbanks in Alaska.
Here's the view from my front porch in Fairbanks, Alaska, during a nice auroral display.
StateAlaska
LocationFairbanks
Date TakenMar 16, 2012
Date AddedMar 16, 2012
AuthorTroutnut
I liked the lighting at my workstation last night.  Aurora forecasts on my laptop, aurora out the window, and C code for multidimensional nonlinear minimization on my desktop. From Fairbanks in Alaska.
I liked the lighting at my workstation last night. Aurora forecasts on my laptop, aurora out the window, and C code for multidimensional nonlinear minimization on my desktop.
StateAlaska
LocationFairbanks
Date TakenMar 16, 2012
Date AddedMar 16, 2012
AuthorTroutnut
 From Fairbanks in Alaska.
StateAlaska
LocationFairbanks
Date TakenMar 16, 2012
Date AddedMar 16, 2012
AuthorTroutnut

Most recent comments on this post (latest on top)

GldstrmSamMarch 18th, 2012, 1:26 am
Fairbanks, Alaska

Posts: 212
And here I thought you were off the grid up there...Instead you appear better connected than most of us...:) That's quite the set up.


Somebody I know just went up to Arctic Village and she said that they have Internet and video games. Here I thought THEY were off the grid.
There is no greater fan of fly fishing than the worm. ~Patrick F. McManus
OldredbarnMarch 17th, 2012, 4:23 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2536
Wonderful stuff Jason! And here I thought you were off the grid up there...Instead you appear better connected than most of us...:) That's quite the set up.

My favorite northern lights sighting was in 1973. My best friend and I were actually trying to get home from Alaska, had flown to Seattle, and tried to hitch-hike cross-country. We were somewhere between Coeur-d'Alene and Bozeman, it was after dark and we were riding on some stacked hay-bales in the back of someone's pickup.

The guys in the truck didn't want to leave us out in the middle of Montana at night and had offered to put us up...We decided to make a go of it and continue...I remember one guy saying, "Fellas. It can get pretty cold at night, here in Montana, in late May...Are you sure?!"

We survived. :)

Good stuff Jason! Thanks for showing it to us...Like others here I had heard that we should be seeing something down this way but never did.

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Shawnny3March 17th, 2012, 8:39 am
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Very cool, Jason. We had the lights here a few months ago, but it seems like I only find out about these things too late. I'd love to see them sometime.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
LastchanceMarch 17th, 2012, 8:30 am
Portage, PA

Posts: 433
Beautiful photos, Jason.
Bruce
TroutnutMarch 17th, 2012, 8:03 am
Administrator
Fairbanks, AK

Posts: 2375
Sam, here's the main forecast I use:

http://helios.swpc.noaa.gov/ovation/

I also check the sites you linked, especially the live camera. Also,

http://www.spaceweather.com

And there's an aurora cam in Yellowknife:

http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/astronomy/auroramax/connect.asp

And there's a Facebook group for Alaskan aurora notifications:

http://www.facebook.com/ABNFNSB?sk=wall
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist

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