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Flow

Flow, aurora borealis photo from Alaska
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Clip Description: The time-lapse sequence "Anchorage Flow" was photographed in Alaska near the Anchorage International Airport on March 10, 2011. The sunset, northern lights, incoming icy tide, Mt. Susitna (Sleeping Lady) and airplanes all in one. Filmed between 8:45 pm and 9:45 pm, this movie clip is one hour compressed into 18 seconds (200 times faster than real time). If you are interested in Royalty-Free clip usage please contact us for a quote. Available in HD.

The "Flow" Experience

The sun was overflowing with twisted magnetized gases and suddenly, out of a sunspot, a CME (coronal mass ejection) erupted billions of tons of pure energy into space. Some of this solar flare was geoeffective (earth directed) and on March 10, 2011 a gust of solar wind slammed into us.

Far below in Alaska I witnessed the dynamic interplay of forces from a windy Pt. Woronzof bluff near the Anchorage International Airport. I had broken a dinner date with my wife because online the scientific websites that monitor real-time magnetic disturbances and solar wind speed were bouncing like crazy. The Kp index, a 1-to-10 number summarizing geomagnetic activity, was in the red!

I clocked on at 8 pm and was scanning the sunset when a faint aurora flicker caught my eye over Pt. McKenzie to the northwest. It was not even dark yet! I quickly got my tripods set up and by 8:30 pm the auroras were dancing over Mt. Susitna, the Sleeping Lady. I had been envisioning this shot for two decades.

A half moon illuminated the snow on the Lady while the twilight of a distant sunset burnt in a deep orange glow. The northern lights were a lively shade of green that stretched into tall, barely detectable, rays of magenta. Ice pans made a grinding sound as they slowly rode the incoming tide into the Cook Inlet. From water-to-sky everything was in constant movement including the numerous flights arriving and departing the airport. Talk about a state of "Flow."

When I thought it could not get any better it did; my wife showed up out at the Point with a warm take-out dinner…. the night had become a dream date!

Photograph Information:

Location: Anchorage, AK
Year: 2010
Aperture: f1.6
Shutter: 2.5 seconds
ISO: 800
Shot with a Nikon D700 using a Nikon 28mm/ f1.4D lens.
Todd