Tuesday, April 16, 2013

N is for Northern Lights

Source: Wikimedia Commons
To me it's hard to imagine anything more magical than the Aurora Borealis, or the Northern Lights. Seen above the magnetic poles of the northern hemisphere, the lights result from the collision of electrically charged particles that enter the earth's atmosphere from the sun. The southern hemisphere counterpart is called the Aurora australis.

I'm the first to admit that I don't understand a thing about the science behind the lights, but based on photos alone it's hard to imagine a more beautiful or magical sight than the lights dancing across the dark sky. The Cree people called the Northern Lights phenomenon the "Dance of the Spirits," and it's easy to see why.

This is a case where I think pictures speak much louder than words. The photos included with this post are all shots of the Northern Lights seen from Alaska.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Have you ever seen the Northern Lights in person? If so, I am envious! :)

My A-Z theme of Alaska is inspired by my debut novel, Polar Night, which is set in Fairbanks and the Alaskan Arctic. Click here for all the info on the book.

54 comments:

  1. I've only seen this in pics. Awesome and otherworldly.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

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  2. No, I've never seen the real thing. I imagine witnessing it would feel like you were standing on another planet.

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  3. @shelly, good way to describe it.

    @Alex, yeah, I think so too, can't imagine it.

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  4. I never saw them in full force like in the first picture, but I spent a winter vacation up north in Sweden and saw a more sedate, but still incredibly gorgeous and unforgettable version of the northern lights. I have also been lucky to see incredible cloud shows here in the mountains that I have posted on my blog.

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  5. So beautiful, and that's just a photo! I imagine the real thing would be just incredible. I would love to see that some day.

    Writing Through College

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  6. I haven't seen it, although it has occurred sometimes where I've been. I just wasn't awake for it I guess :(.

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  7. This is something I really want to see in person, sometime!

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  8. I have not, but I hope to some day! Beautiful pictures. :)

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  9. Absolutely gorgeous! I love how much beauty there is in the natural world.

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  10. @Inger, I thought of you when I posted this and wondered if you had seen the Northern lights in Sweden.

    @Samantha, I agree!

    @Susanne, oh, maybe you will see it at some point.

    @Mark, me too!

    @Rachel, glad you liked the pics!

    @Susan, so true!

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  11. I would love to see them one day.

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  12. I have seen them in person! My grandparents lived in Alaska, so I've visited there often.

    ~MPL
    http://pepperwords.com

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  13. Seeing the Northern Lights is definitely on my bucket list.

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  14. You know if I would have a bucket list, this would be number one. Watching the Northern Lights is like the greatest desire of my heart.

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  15. The Northern lights fascinate me! I hope to see them one day.

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  16. Is that the portal through which Cthulhu invades the Earth? Yes, I think so. CTHULHU TAKE PALIN AS YOUR BRIDE!

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  17. @Carol, me too.

    @M, oh how cool! Thanks for coming by.

    @Misha, mine as well.

    @Al, I hope you get to see them someday!

    @Kerri, I totally agree.

    @Michael, hahaha.

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  18. So cool! The Northern Lights is something i have always wanted to see and experience. Wow! Beautiful

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  19. One day I'd like to see them. Of course, I'm going to expect UFOs to come flying out of the sky when I do see them. (as in Close Encounters. . .)

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  20. @Rebecca, I totally agree.

    @DG, LOL, I hope not!

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  21. These photos are absoulutely beautiful. There's such a magical quality about the Northern Lights.

    Julie

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  22. The pictures are very cool. I haven't seen the Northern Lights yet. One day.....

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  23. Seeing the Northern Lights is on my bucket list. Born and raised in Southern California, the lights are in short supply :)

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  24. I'd really love to see the lights. They are really magical. Like magical ether in the sky.

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  25. What beautiful pictures! I would love to see them in person.

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  26. Northern Lights are astronomically, fabulous. Once sitting around a campfire in my backyard we were astounded at the light display in the sky. Everyone was guessing what it could possibly be. We didn't believe it was Northern Lights coming our way, but it was. Kind of spooked me into thinking it was some kind of a sign.

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  27. They just don't look real, do they? I think there are times you can see them from the north of England and Scotland.

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  28. I've always wanted to! Someday I will. It's a goal!

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  29. Only photos but they've always seemed magical to me. I'm going to go see them!

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  30. Someday I hope to see the Northern Lights. The Inuit were right about the dancing spirits---that's what they seem.

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  31. I'm sure it's even more incredible in person!

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  32. I have never seen the Northern Lights, but would love to... someday.

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  33. I have seen them in person, a couple times. I guess that's one of the trade-offs we get from our terrible winters, occasional glimpses of awesome :)

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  34. Never have, but would love too! Alaska, despite the cold, is a place I really would like to experience.

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  35. I've only heard of the Northern Lights. Very ethereal...
    Imagine seeing this phenomenon first-hand? It must be spectacular!

    Writer In Transit

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  36. I've always wanted to see the northern lights in person. The pictures are beautiful.

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  37. I used to watch them nightly. From my bed I'd watch them dance across the sky. At 50 below, the nights were always so clear, and the lights so bright. I was lucky to live outside of Fairbanks, in Ester, no ice fog hanging low in the air. It was magical!

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  38. I would love to see the lights in person. Maybe someday....

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  39. I saw the Northern Lights once on the Great Plains in Colorado...took a minute for it to dawn on me what I was seeing. Stunning. Love your pictures!

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  40. @Julie, I think so too, it's hard to believe they're even real.

    @Tim, one day for me as well.

    @Gwen, LOL, they are in short supply here in Ohio as well.

    @Christine, I love that description of them, perfect.

    @Vikki, me too!

    @Cathrina, oh wow, how awesome. That must have been amazing.

    @Annalisa, I didn't realize that, interesting!

    @Pk, it's a goal for me too.

    @Laura, I hope we all make it!

    @Susan, I agree, it's such a perfect description of them.

    @Nick, I know, I can't imagine it.

    @Mary, yeah, I guess it is a "someday" thing for a lot of us!

    @Rhonda, that would be a pretty good trade-off, although I doubt I'd make it through more than a week of the winter LOL.

    @Nancy, I feel the same way.

    @Michelle, I really can't even imagine how it would look.

    @Ciara, I love them too.

    @Yolanda, wow, how awesome!! I can't even imagine seeing that out my bedroom window.

    @Brinda, I hope so!

    @Amy, oh, I didn't realize you could see them in Colorado at times. Another place I'd love to visit.

    @Amy, oh

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  41. It would be exciting to see this amazing phenomena, but I never have! Thank you for sharing!

    Mary Montague Sikes

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  42. I have, and the oddest thing was that I saw them in my home state, traveling across mountain range. My husband and I both saw them, and couldn't believe they were THE Northern lights, until we confirmed it with someone else and did some research. The Northern Lights can actually be seen in the Northern part of the continental United States - which I didn't know until I saw them myself. (again, way up in the mountains, crossing a mountain pass at night in Washington)

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  43. So one thing I don't have to travel to Alaska for. Just saw the Northern Lights over Lake Superior on Saturday night ;)

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  44. SO STUNNING!!! I've always wanted to see them in person!

    WE should hold a blogger conference under them and write about the experience hands on... How cool would that be?!

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  45. I wonder whether anything happens to your body during the northern lights. For instance, feel energized.

    Don't be a Hippie
    Take 25 to Hollister

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  46. These pictures are all so stunning! Wow...

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  47. I would so love to see the Northern Lights one day. The pictures are truly amazing.

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  48. @Mary, my pleasure!

    @Tyrean, wow, I had no idea you could see them from anywhere in the continental US. This has been educational for me!

    @Regina, I am jealous! :D

    @Michael, that sounds like an excellent idea, if only!

    @Su-sieee, that's an interesting question, I wonder. Never thought about it but that would be really cool.

    @Heather, I agree.

    @Lynda, I'm glad you liked the pics. :)

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  49. bucket list!!! Especially before the poles shift and the Northern Lights move....

    Jamie Dement (LadyJai)

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  50. Truly an incredible sight - it's definitely on my bucket list of things to see :)

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  51. @Trisha, me too, I can't imagine it.

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  52. Hi Julie .. I've never seen them in real life, just in tv programmes and on the net. Mum's cousin from BC sent me some links and I printed out one of the photos - a large one A2 size, which I thought my mother would like, but she said no - so I put it behind her head, so she never saw it - but I could enjoy it!!

    Cheers Hilary

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  53. @Hilary, oh, I wonder why your mom didn't like it! I'm glad you could enjoy it at least. :)

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Thank you for your comments!