Blast Off!

Blast Off!

The “Blast Off!” Experience

It was an explosive aurora-filled all-nighter in early March 2012, and I was counting my lucky stars that I was already clocked on my aurora hunt and in position near the Matanuska Glacier (100 miles northeast of Anchorage). The show started with a bang at 8 pm when the energy from a big solar flare blasted earth. It wasn't even dark yet as multi-colored aurora curtains enveloped the deep blue sky and, with only a few small intermissions, the show never let up for the next 10 hours. I danced the moonlit night away surrounded by spectacular 360° mountain and aurora vistas. It was exhilarating.

As is often the case, it was near the break of dawn when I witnessed the best display of the night. The moon was going down between the Chugach Range on the left and the Talkeetna Mountains flanking the right when, at 5:20 am on March 7, 2012, it was "Blast Off!" time for the northern lights. The western skies came alive as a curving purple and green curtain climbed rapidly toward the zenith cascading a powerful pattern of light throughout its path.

Starry note:
This relatively short 2-1/2 second photographic exposure freezes the details of the blast off in motion, including the stars. If you look for the little pinholes of light through the translucent purple curtain, a well-known constellation awaits. Hint: drink deep.


AuroraHunter Gallery

  • Alaska Gold
  • Alaska Magic
  • Alyeska Aglow
  • Blast Off!
  • Blue Wonder
  • Crescendo
  • Denali Dance
  • Denali Fireweed
  • Denali North
  • Epic Flight
  • First Light
  • Fish On
  • Fish Wheelin'
  • Freebird
  • Galaxias
  • Goddess of Dawn
  • Heaven and Earth
  • I Breathe Aurora
  • Kaleidoscope
  • Kennecott Treasures
  • Legendary Lady
  • Lily Red
  • Midnight Bloom
  • Morning Glory
  • Nightingale
  • Patriot Bear
  • Pilot's Dream
  • Placid Beauty
  • Sky Blue Pink
  • Talkeetna Vista
  • The Legend
  • Turnagain Nights
  • Valley of Light
  • Whirled View
  • Winter's End