Friday, September 23, 2011

Under the Northern Lights- The Aurora Borealis

I left the Aurora for last……It was a presence throughout our experience of the Northwest Territories.The Aurora Borealis is caused when the ‘solar wind’ or electrically charged particles from the sun react with gases (notably oxygen and nitrogen) in the atmosphere. The result is the ‘Aurora Oval’, a ribbon of light and energy  that encircles the north and south poles.The most active rings of the Aurora Oval lies from the 60th parallel to the Arctic Circle.In the area around Yellowknife, there is a 90% to 100% chance of seeing a display on dark, clear nights.
Every night that we were above the 60th parallel (the NWT), we set our alarm to get up to see the Northern Lights. Some nights, we set for mid-night, others 11pm or 2am….not being sure when was he best viewing time (it turns out that mid-night seemed to be best). If you have an internet connection, you can take some of the guesswork out by going to this website -
We saw the Aurora for 5 nights of the 9 that we got up. Three of the nights were just so-so….but on two of the nights, we were treated to an amazing light show!
This first Aurora was shot at the campground in Yellowknife, NWT……
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We played with the new camera until we were able to get some really great pictures……If you look closely in the one below, on the right of the Aurora, above the trees, you can see the big dipper in the sky.
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The Aurora really did spiral and twist……and radiate across the sky……
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The next, great Aurora was after we had left Yellowknife…at Sambaa Deh Falls Provincial Park on the Deh Cho HWY.
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It was AWESOME….with steaks of pink light along with the green …..shimmering and rippling across the sky!
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An amazing sight…and one that I am glad that  we got to experience!


  1. These lovely photos blew me away. I'm so glad you got up in the middle of the night to take them. Thank you.

  2. Spectacular!! Thank you for getting up at O dark thirty to take these pictures and share them.