Fireworks for James Madison’s birthday! Aurora borealis in Alaska, March 16, 2013

March 22, 2013

Fireworks for James Madison’s birthday?

Loren Holmes photo of Aurora borealis over Eureka, Alaska, March 16, 2013

Loren Holmes photograph straight up of Aurora borealis over Eureka, Alaska, on March 13, 2013. AlaskaDispatch.com

I love fireworks.  Kathryn and I have been known to drive a couple hundred miles to see a good show.  Fireworks in honor of the guy who gave us the Constitution and the First Amendment (and much more), seems a great idea to me.

But no one did it . . .

Sometimes the Sun, Moon, stars and planets conspire.

Here’s one of the best, most inspiring five minutes you’ll spend this week. Look what the Sun sent us, filmed in time-lapse glory above Eureka, Alaska, on March 16, 2013, the anniversary of James Madison’s birthday; from AlaskaDispatch.com:

A timelapse of the Aurora Borealis, Northern Lights, over Eureka, Alaska on March 16, 2013. Taken with a Canon 5D Mark III and 24mm f/1.4 and 70-200 f/2.8 lenses. Compiled from 3800 images, with exposures between 2 seconds and 30 seconds.

Loren Holmes, the photographer, provides a more poetic description of the lights he filmed, and more scientific, too, at AlaskaDispatch.com.

AlaskaDispatch.com provided a slide show of Holmes’s better photos, too.

Tip of the old scrub brush to Dr. M. P. Bumsted.

More:


Return of the Aurora Borealis

August 4, 2010

Aurora Borealis, by Wiciwato (Yahoo Flickr compilation) - July-August 2010

Aurora Borealis, by Wiciwato (Yahoo Flickr compilation) - July-August 2010 - notice the Big Dipper in the photo?

A storm on the Sun last Sunday launched a wave of cosmic particles toward the Earth — the particles whose striking of the upper atmosphere causes ions to glow, creating the Northern Lights.

And so the Northern Lights, the Aurora Borealis, returned to the planet in spectacular fashion this week, after more than a year of relative solar dormancy.  According to the Christian Science Monitor, outstanding displays of the lights may continue through this week.

Yahoo’s Flicker editors put together a collection of photos from Flickr, from which the photo above is taken — there are a lot more spectacular shots there.

Resources, more:

Pictures of the coronal mass ejection from the Sun dazzle, too:

Caption from NASA: On August 1st, almost the entire Earth-facing side of the sun erupted in a tumult of activity. There was a C3-class solar flare, a solar tsunami, multiple filaments of magnetism lifting off the stellar surface, large-scale shaking of the solar corona, radio bursts, a coronal mass ejection and more. This extreme ultraviolet snapshot from the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) shows the sun's northern hemisphere in mid-eruption. Different colors in the image represent different gas temperatures ranging from ~1 to 2 million degrees K. Credit: NASA/SDO

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