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January 26, 2014 Auroras

Chatanika, Alaska

On our last night in Fairbanks, the auroras finally put on a show that made the entire trip worthwhile. We had earlier eaten dinner at the Pagoda Chinese restaurant in North Pole. On our way back, sitting in the far back seat, I could see a green band to the north as we left North Pole and headed toward Nordale Road. We pulled over there and saw that the show had already started.

We grabbed our camera gear at the lodge and headed up to Cleary Summit again. It was over 40 degrees at the top of the summit. It would be nice to have some cooler weather! Again, we continued on the Steese Highway to Milepost 34 past the Chatanika Lodge and Poker Flat. When we set up our tripods and started shooting, the auroras became multi-banded and pretty active, with green ribbons waving across the sky. After a couple hours at Milepost 34, we returned home, stopping at Cleary Summit for some more viewing/shooting and to take a quick nap so that we could stay awake for the drive home. We needed to catch the train to Anchorage early in the morning, so we could not stay out all night.

Nice Auroras
A green band develops overhead as all of us watch at 9:54 PM.
Nice Auroras
Peak of the green band overhead. 9:56 PM AST.
Nice Auroras
A few minutes later, the bands have evolved at 10:07 PM.
Nice Auroras
Looking northeast at 10:10 PM.
Nice Auroras
What is that dark spot in the picture on the river?
Nice Auroras
It's a moose! We didn't realize it was there at the time. 10:41 PM.
Nice Auroras
A bright band develops. 10:24 PM.
Nice Auroras
Fisheye lens view showing many-banded auroras. 10:38 PM AST.
Nice Auroras
A bright band develops. 10:58 PM.
Nice Auroras
Brightest patch of the evening. 11:10 PM AST.
Nice Auroras
Back at Cleary Summit to view the show and rest on our way home. 12:16 AM.

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