Just as most places have a weather report, there is also a daily Auroura report! Early March, the forecast was strong for almost a week straight. So one Thursday night we decided to take a trip up to Hatcher’s Pass to chase after some Northern Lights.
Here’s what the forcast looked like for that night. It was rated “EXTREME!!!” haha read below for the website comments.
Forecast: Auroral activity will be high. Weather permitting, highly active auroral displays will be visible overhead from Barrow to Bethel, Dillingham and Ketchikan, and visible low on the horizon from King Salmon.
Forecaster Comments: The auroral activity index of 5 and 6 that occurred on the 7th (today) is the result of the solar event on the 5th that was the subject of the previous alert. Aurora should have been visible as far south as the middle of the US on the night of Mar 6/7, as we predicted in the last alert.
A large solar event early on the 7th of March was directly more closely to the Earth-Sun line, and should produce more activity. The debris should reach Earth sometime in the late morning of March 8 GMT. This means that the resulting aurora may be visible late on the night of the 7th/8th from Alaska, but Western Russia, Europe, and the US will probably see activity levels of Kp=5 or greater on the night of March 8/9.
Bryan (my roommate) and his coworker (Mark) and I headed out to Hatcher’s and got an amazing light show on the way. It was around 0 degrees but we kept warm with a bonfire and beers. The aurora activity died down a bit in the early morning but we decided to stick it out and wait awhile (~4 hours). Sure enough, the wait was worth it and we got to see an amazing light show! It was the first time I have ever seen the Northern Lights 🙂 The sky was very clear and the moon was extremely bright, but we were still able to get some good pics…
When we first arrived.. not too much going on in the sky
So we just goofed off with the camera…
Then the show got started….
As we were leaving Hatcher’s Pass… ~3 am
It was a pretty amazing night! The next week (March 15th), a friend captured these pics from Anchorage!
I don’t have a nice enough camera, so I had to borrow all these pics from friends. Big thanks to them! Seeing them in person really is amazing. ohhhh Alaska!