"A Short Colorful Night"

                                              Homer, Alaska
                                             August 10, 2005

    The northern sky was aglow with color on this short August 10 night. The flickering aurora was sporting its familiar green of glowing oxygen atoms as well as a blue-violet found in the tall rays that were reaching high above Earth's shadow and into direct sunlight. The reaction with sunlight can cause nitrogen molocules to produce shades of blue and purple, color that is often too subtle for our vision to make out well but color that records well on film. On certain rare occasions it can be quite vivid even to our poor night vision. Tonight it remained just on the edge of my visual capabilities.
    The horizon is painted with warm color as ice crystals found in rare noctilucent clouds reflect low-angle sunlight which was then filtered through a thick layer of smoke from this summer's forest fires still raging in Alaska's interior.
    Twilight was still visible during the entire three-hour period of darkness but the faint glow of the "Milky Way" could be made out during the darkest time around local midnight.
    The familiar "Big Dipper" can be seen at the top left of this image centered on true north.
    I used a home-built 6x7 medium format camera equipped with a 38mm wide-angle lens and Kodak E100G film to capture the scene.

    This image is availible in the following sizes: 5x7, 6x9, 8x12, 11x15, 12x18
     It is also availible in a 6x12 or 8x16 panoramic sizes.

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