Awesome Alaska Aurora

Because of a solar event on April 12, the aurora borealis (northern lights) have been off the charts lately! The forecast by scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute was set at a level Kp 5, which means high auroral activity.  (I'm pretty sure a level Kp 8 is a sign of the impending apocalypse.)  Juneauites were able to take advantage of the rare occurrence: clear skies!

Forecast map from the Geophysical Institute.

Here are a few of the shots I took on Saturday from Eagle Beach, 27 miles north of Juneau along the Glacier Highway.  All of my photos were taken on a 30 second exposure with a Canon EOS Rebel T2i.

I accidentally bumped my tripod (a big no-no in aurora photography) - and the photo turned out looking like there were two rolling hills in the frame, each with the aurora floating above.  Not a bad mistake if you ask me!

This was my first time seeing reds and purples in the aurora.  What an awesome sight!

Writing in the sky with the light from my cellphone.

My friend, Becky, photographed the Northern Lights from another vantage point, the North Douglas Boat Launch.  She did an outstanding job capturing the night sky and the reflection of light on the water.