August is an exciting time of year at 60 degrees north as darkness begins to return after a short summer of long days. With the return of dark nights we also have the return of our aurora season.
In this view looking to the north, we see tall rays of the aurora reaching up out of the Earth's shadow and into direct sunlightwhere they are transformed into a beautiful shade of blue-violet. It is nitrogen molocules high in the atmosphere that recieve an extra boost of energy from the Sun's rays that produce this amazing color.
Below, the green light of oxygen atoms seems to dance among the treetops while flowing along in eddies and currents of the Earth's ever changing magnetic field.
Low on the horizon we see a rare display of noctilucent clouds. These mysterious clouds are so high, about 50 miles altitude, that they are able to catch and reflect the sun's light even though it is night here on the ground. For more on these unusual clouds click here. Noctilucent Cloud Display from Ninilchik.
Smoke from the summers many forest fires still raging to the north, paints the clouds with a reddish tinge - nature's warming filter.
I took this colorful shot a little past 2:00 a.m. local time during the darkest part of this short summer night using a home-built 6x7 cm medium format camera equipped with a 75mm lens and Kodak E100G film for an image rich in detail and very fine grain.
This image is availible in the following sizes: 5x7, 6x9, 8x12, 11x15, 12x18 and a 24x30 limited edition photographic print as well as 6x12, 8x16, and 13x26 panoramic sizes. This image is also availible in a vertical crop in the following sizes: 5x7, 6x9, 8x12, and 11x15.