"Two Skies"

                      Donnelly Dome sout of Delta Junction,  Alaska
                                              February 2, 2002

    The aurora had made an early showing onthis cold February night just north of the Central Alaska Range. It was visible as soon as it was growing dark but after a couple hours it was gone again. During this lull I moved a few miles north and waited, hoping for its possible return.
    I was rewarded around midnight by the appearance of a bright reddish ray in the western sky where moments before there had been nothing. The ray grew rapidly in brightness and turned a vivid green. Then it began to split in two with each element increasing in intensity even more. It became so bright that I could easily red my camera dials as its flickering light danced on the snow.
    These very active bands continued to separate until it looked like two completely different displays, one in the northern sky and one in the southern sky.
    The aurora remained this way, in two opposite parts of the sky, for the next four hours and then in the eraly morning the southern component began to swing northward as the northern component began to swing southward. They met overhead in a spectacular but brief crowning display and togeather as one, the now single band began to swing northward, gradually fading as it went until it was now just a memory.

    I used a conventional 35mm Nikon camera equipped with a 28mm lens and Fuji Provia 100 film to record the sky as it slit in two.

    This image is availible in the following sizes: 5x7, 6x9, and 8x12.

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