"The Candle Dragon"

                                              Homer, Alaska
                                            October 28, 2003

    The sky was on fire the night of October 28-29, 2003. Several hours earlier, a large group of sunspots unleashed a powerful explosion that hurled billions of tons of charged particles at astonishing speeds of well over a million miles-an-hour. The explosion, or flare, created what is known as a coronal mass ejection or CME. This was pointed right at the Earth and as this mass of charged particles began to reach our planet they were funneled in by our magnetic field and they began to react with atoms and molocules high up in our atmosphere producing a colorful display of dancing light known as the aurora.
    In ancient times the aurora was the source of much legend, lore and superstition. Some of the earliest written records of aurora were made by the Chinese over 2600 years ago. They refered to the aurora as "Zhu Lung" the "candle dragon".
    One can almost imagine the image of a dragon in this photo taken of the crowning aurora over Homer, Alaska during this powerful episode.
     I used a 6x6 medium format camera equipped with a 30mm fish-eye lens and Fuji Provia 400 film to capture the image.

This photo is availible in a 5x7 image size.

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