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Placid Beauty

Placid Beauty, aurora borealis photo from Alaska
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The "Placid Beauty" Experience

The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center (AWCC) is mirrored on the glassy surface of the Placer River on September 28, 2016 at 2am while a high-speed aurora splashes color into the sky. This is a single shot (no digital trickery) with an exposure time of only a 1-1/2 seconds which means these lights were bright!

Earlier in the evening I had high hopes of seeing the aurora as I left my hometown of Anchorage and drove south down the Seward Highway. A big gust of solar wind was predicted to impact earth at any moment and if a geomagnetic storm kicked in I knew exactly where I wanted to be ~ at the tip of Turnagain Arm with the AWCC in my sights.

It was low tide and the mouth of the river reflected the Chugach Mountains beautifully. Quite suddenly pink auroras bridged the Twentymile Glacier Valley and two brilliant bands of light turned to four with the help of the reflection. My eyes lit up as I experienced the nestled yet expansive composition of "Placid Beauty."

Year: 2016
Shot with a