After dinner yesterday, we spent several hours chasing the northern lights over the dark backdrop of the Alaskan night sky. The main auroral storm from last weeks massive series of solar flares has dwindled and passed.
But the lull in major solar activity doesn't mean one should become complacent.
Sub-storms are unpredictable. The aurora forecast for the evening showed moderate activity, 3-4 on the Kp scale (out of 9). Nevertheless, we set out in the hopes of intermittent bursts of higher activity.
We were not disappointed.
Over the 3 hours we stood under the shimmering lights, there were several spikes in the auroral activity - producing vibrant and pulsating pillars. Bands of color danced across the sky and we were even treated to a short, but intense, coronal display.
With spring fast approaching and the ever lengthening daylight hours, our opportunity for aurora photography is dwindling as well. Every chance we find ourselves under 'the Greatest Show Above the Earth' is a blessing.