Quiet night for auroras Feb 21/22

The aurora forecast for tonight and the next few nights are quiet. No significant aurora activity is expected. Up north, such as in the Fairbanks area, we expect to see the “typical” quiet aurora band across the horizon. The Kp level at most is predicted to be Kp 2. Cloudy skies may block the view, as auroras are more than 60 miles upwards in the atmosphere. Conditions can change daily, so if anything of note happens, we will update.

I was at Chena Hot Springs the other night with friends and a faint aurora band was seen. I overheard a lady say she saw red lights. I am not so sure there were red lights, I only saw a faint green band. She went on to comment to her friend she thought red auroras were only seen during certain times of the year. This is false. The aurora colors can appear anytime of year, anytime of the night. The colors depend on the electrons entering the earth’s upper atmosphere, colliding with atoms of oxygen and nitrogen at various altitudes. Red is a bit more rare than green but it is seen. We see pinks much more often up here in Alaska, usually on the edge of a green aurora. I have found some interesting websites over the years to explore aurora colors more in depth. Have a look:

Colors of the Aurora

Atmospheric Optics

Auroras Paintings in the Sky

3-yellow-stars

Sean Kurdziolek specializes in landscape photography and capturing the
Aurora Borealis in interior Alaska. He provides a full and personalized
photography service from consultation to delivery of beautiful archival
quality wall art. Sean can also teach you to capture your own stunning
images of the Aurora in his Aurora photography workshops.
As the aurora season is ending in Alaska (due to the midnight sun), dates are limited,
so schedule your aurora portraits soon!
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