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Light Show

5/11/24 – Last night we were treated, like much of the continental US, to some pretty spectacular 360° northern lights.  Around 9:30pm we started hearing reports of sightings across the country so I decided to take a peek outside.  Low and behold the clouds, that had just hours before dropped rain on us, had parted to reveal blotches of whitish green and light pink/purple across the sky.  These slow moving light apparitions ebbed and flowed for many hours with the most color appearing between 9:30 and 10:30pm and were still working their magic when I went to bed around midnight.

We were able to see some of the pink/purple colors with the naked eye, which is something extremely rare around here (usually they appear as a white-green).  My long exposure enhanced the colors even more in this picture.

Rumor has it that tonight might be another good show, so if you have clear skies it would certainly be worth taking a quick walk outside to see if you can find any unique looking shapes in the sky.  Last night they appeared before it was fully dark out.

View from the canoe landing looking south. The lights were so bright they obscured some of the stars.

The typical form people think of when someone says northern lights, are the shimmering curtains that sometimes appear to the north, but they also develop as slow moving blobs of light, pillars that lengthen and shrink, or a blotchy glow overhead.  Sometimes they pulse like disco lights and other times they quietly drift around like lazy clouds, so if you think you’re seeing light pollution look closely to see if you notice any slow movement or unique shapes and it just might be the northern lights putting on a show for you.  -Jessica