About the Aurora Borealis
Editorial cc&d, June 21, 2003, v. 130
When visiting the last of the 50 United States, Kuypers made a daily habit of going to sleep immediately after dinner in Alaska to wake up near midnight. Janet & John went outside with camera equipment to photograph the Aurora Borealis. Using 800 & 1600 ASA color film with a tripod, their exposure times ranged from 10 to 30 seconds to capture the Northern Lights on film.
But they agree that film does not do it justice, because you cannot catch on film the apparently random motion of lights as they literally dance across the sky. The camera cannot effectively catch the Aurora Borealis starting at the horizon and moving almost completely to the opposite side of the horizon. When we watched it, you could even lean on the car on an empty rural road, and turn your head to try to guess where the lights will move next.
This is what happens on nights where gases react to the electromagnetic fields at certain temperatures and certain heights in the sky. It is hard to capture the streaking the lights produce because gases only react at certain parts of the atmosphere at a given moment. You can try to catch the color changes (if they stay in the sky long enough to be caught on film), and sometimes you are lucky enough to be able to catch the Northern Lights dancing in front of constellations in the sky.
Someone told us on a Tuesday night in Fairbanks Alaska that they tell their family that they’ll move back to the lower 48 when they get tired of seeing the Aurora Borealis. But people don’t tired of trying to listen to the sometimes-perceived, never-recorded sounds these electric charges seem to make in the sky.
There’s a scientific explanation for the existence of these lights, but most don’t care, because people are captured by the effects of these lights in the sky.
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