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September 19, 2021

An Aurora Named Steve

I first saw and photographed this phenomenon on August 21, 2014, while shooting the aurora borealis in Portage Valley of the Chugach National Forest with friend and fellow photographer CJ Kale of Lava Light Galleries in Hawaii. The nature of the phenomenon was notably different compared to the typical aurora borealis. It stood straight up from the horizon with a slight bend like a bow, and it pretty much did not move. It had a pale pink hue, and it arced from the west to the east, forming a curved line across the sky. The times I have seen and…

Watch for Aurora Click Bait

Every once in a while over the last month or so, I have been seeing worrisome queries on aurora interest pages on Facebook. It all started with a classic click-bait headline, “2016 Is Your Last Chance to See the Northern Lights Before They Vanish.” How accurate is this? Is this true? These are some of the questions that introduce the post to others. The very easy, accurate and simple answer is, “Absolutely not. It’s complete hogwash.” Of course, once you click on the article, you get a rather perfunctory explanation of the solar cycle, and how the sun’s activity peaks…

Aurora Hits Lower 48 Tonight!*

It’s rare that the lower 48 gets a good look at the aurora – but depending where you are in the northern USA and southern Canada tonight you just might get a chance. According to some experts it’s going to be a good week for viewing the northern lights… assuming cloud cover stays away and you can find somewhere away from light pollution. For all of those first time aurora shooters out there, I recommend that you read TheMudflats contributor Carl Johnson‘s article over at his blog, with some great pointers  on how to get the best image. Please also check…

Open Thread: Found Aurora

Just searching through my Alaska archives and came across a folder of some wonderful aurora photos from late last year. You can see the rest over at my new photo site (and get prints, if you like) at www.zdroberts.com.  

Photograph Aurora Like a Pro

  Alaskans tend to take advantage of their long days in the summer by getting out and hiking, biking, camping, hunting, and fishing.  We savor the opportunity to have six hours of sunlight to enjoy on a weekday even after the work day is done.  Farther north, the sun never even goes down.  But as winter comes, the light goes down sooner and the nights grow longer.  Temperatures drop, chills set in.  And while some types of activities go away, they are simply replaced by others that can be pursued in the winter.  Nordic skiing, snow shoeing, trapping and snow…

Aurora Lite

After the early tease of the aurora in late August, I’ve been itching for the chance to get my next northern light fix. Even though the forecast emphasized overcast skies the aurora was supposed to be stormy so Carl Johnson and I ventured out to find a clearing in the sky. We did. It only lasted briefly and it was faint – but the stars were bright so it made for from some interesting shots. This one was on our way back along the highway – the street lights made the trees glow yellow.

Aurora Hunt Successful

Saturday night while most people are hitting the bars and partying – Mudflats contributor Carl Johnson, Frank Stelges and I journeyed to an undisclosed location to hunt the elusive aurora. (I have been sworn to secrecy) While our prey took a long time to show – when it did – it was a glorious one. The moon was out in full force, and barely a cloud in the sky, the stars were shining bright and thankfully the temperature stayed relatively nice… so here my mud-puppies are the spoils of a victorious hunt. The mighty aurora.

Open Thread: Aurora is Coming

    I know some places in the Fairbanks area have already spotted the elusive aurora but down here in Anchorage I haven’t gotten a glimpse yet. But prepare yourself folks, it’s coming… and with that, The Darkness. So make sure you bask in the light as much as you can and grab up the last of the summer crop at the local farmers markets.

Last Aurora Hunt of the Season?

A couple of nights ago the northern lights were suposed to be out in force, so I went north from Anchorage in search of my prey – Aurora Borealis. After driving over an hour north, pulling off into dark corners along the Glenn Highway.  I thought, again the prediction maps were just a tease. So since I was already out wandering around in the darkness, I decided to find a spot and take some star trail photos. I stopped at Thunderbird Falls in the Chugach. The wind was occasionally biting, but it stayed in the high 30’s so I knew I’d…