Wind and the Willow

Submitted by: Dennis Anderson at Tue Apr 15 21:05:01 2008 UTC

Twelve-Mile Summit, in the White Mountains about 80 miles NE of Fairbanks, can be a harsh place. The wind blows more than not and I have turned back from this place several times due to blowing and drifting snow. It is above the treeline and except for the tundra, there is little vegetation here. These wind-shaped willows, photographed on March 29, 2008, were the only living thing around taller than a foot or so. They had found refuge and a chance to start their slow, stunted growth where a buldozed blade had cut a wayside at the summit. The wind was pretty strong at sunset but had died down enough to leave the branches still during this 30-second shot with the northern lights blazing behind. Copyright (c) Dennis C. Anderson Night Trax Photography Contact at: auroradude@acsalaska.net or visit: www.auroradude.com

Ribbon of Delight

Submitted by: Dennis Anderson at Tue Apr 8 20:20:01 2008 UTC

Time had been passing quickly on this March 27-28, 2008 night of auroral activity and I really had completely lost track of it. But when I started seeing tall rays of violet light in the northeast, I knew that night would soon give in to dawn. It is the sun's direct light acting on the aurora that can coax nitrogen molocules, high in the atmosphere, to produce beautiful shades of blue and violet in a process known as resonance scattering. This usually takes place during twilight hours while the Earth is in the shadow of night but the aurora is reaching up into sunlight at altitudes of up to 1000 km. (about 600 miles into space). This is the highest type of aurora measured. I used a 6x7 cm. medium format camera with a 38mm wide angle lens for this image along the Chena River east of Fairbanks. Copyright (c) Dennis C. Anderson Night Trax Photography Contact at: auroradude@acsalaska.net or visit: www.auroradude.com

Chasing Rabbits

Submitted by: Dennis Anderson at Tue Apr 8 22:17:01 2008 UTC

Early on in our week-long aurora expedition, my brother had expressed his desire to bag a snow-shoe hare for the stew pot. He had even prepared a special sauce in anticipation. We saw many, many tracks day after day but never had the opportunity to get one of these "waskwy wabbits". Now, as if to tease us, here is a giant rabbit in the sky leaping above the spruce along the Chena River on the early morning of March 28, 2008. The sauce had frozen on the first night out and had remained that way for the duration of the outing. Copyright (c) Dennis C. Anderson Night Trax Photography Contact at: auroradude@acsalaska.net or visit: www.auroradude.com

Bright Band with Nitrogen Fringe

Submitted by: Dennis Anderson at Tue Apr 8 17:55:01 2008 UTC

On the night of March 27-28 a diffuse band rapidly grows brighter and begins to display color on its bottom edge. This is an indication that higher energy particles are penetrating the atmosphere to lower levels where nitrogen molocules are coaxed into producing reddish and purplish emissions. The common green aurora is created by the excitation of oxygen atoms at altitudes ranging from about 100 to 150 km. (60 to 90 miles). This colorful "nitrogen fringing" takes place as low as about 70km. (43 miles). This is as close to the ground as the aurora ever gets. I used a 6x7 cm. medium format camera with a 75mm lens to record the northwestern sky from the Chena River east of Fairbanks. Copyright (c) Dennis C. Anderson Night Trax Photography Contact at: auroradude@acsalaska.net or visit: www.auroradudee.com

Bright Loop Dark Night

Submitted by: Dennis Anderson at Mon Apr 7 09:40:01 2008 UTC

March 27-28, 2008 Chena River, Alaska A bright loop appears over the spruce trees in the north bringing light to a dark night. Snow-shoe tracks can be see in the dim light cutting across a frozen pond. I used a home-bnuilt 6x7cm. medium-format camera with a 38mm wide-angle lens and Kodak E100G film. Copyright (c) Dennis C. Anderson Night Trax Photography Contact at: auroradude@acsalaska.net or visit: www.auroradude.com

Shadows

Submitted by: Dennis Anderson at Mon Apr 7 09:18:01 2008 UTC

As the camp fire was dying down the aurora began to intensify. It was easily casting shadows on the snow during this moonless night of March 27-28, 2008 along the Chena River east of Fairbanks. This display became so bright that I didn't even notice my headlamp was still on throwing its red light onto the foreground. The sky became bright enough that snipes had taken to the air with their strange whooing noises that they make in flight, a ritual usually saved for the afternoon or evening twilight. An owl hooted from a nearby tree. We sat in silence. Copyright (c) Dennis C. Anderson Night Trax Photography Contact at: auroradude@acsalaska.net or visit: www.auroradude.com

No Batteries Required

Submitted by: Dennis Anderson at Sat Apr 5 19:08:01 2008 UTC

After several nights out, I noticed that the batteries on my (red) headlamp were growing weak but I was prepared. I had stuffed extras into one of my coat pockets just in case. It had been easy walking on the frozen tundra and I had counted 300 steps out from camp as I didn't want to loose my way in the dark. Then, it happened. The batteries in my headlamp went completely dead. It was dark but I didn't panic. After all, I had fresh batteries. So I spread the legs of my tripod and set my camera down. Then I took a seat on the tundra and began to take my headlamp apart carefully so as to not loose the parts in the dark. I removed the three batteries and took mental note of their orientation so that I could get the replacements back in the proper order. I then felt in my pocket for the fresh batteries and that's when I had a moment of realization: They were the wrong size! But wait, what is that bright light shining behind me? I turned and saw the silent aurora gathering strength to light up the night. It was very diffuse but had become super bright and it was bathing all the snow and ice in its cool green light. I didn't need the batteries after all! I could see perfectly well. This image is taken during the bright display from Twelve-Mile Summit about 80 miles northeast of Fairbanks, Alaska on the early morning of March 28, 2008. Copyright (c) Dennis C. Anderson Night Trax Photography Contact at: auroradude@acsalaska.net or visit: www.auroradude.com

Fisheye View of a Proton Arc

Submitted by: Dennis Anderson at Thu Apr 3 23:01:01 2008 UTC

This shot was taken from the Denali Highway outside of Cantwell, Aalska on March 25, 2008 using an all-sky circular fisheye lens. The camera is pointed straight up and records everything from horizon to horizon. North is at the bottom left while east is at bottom right. The Fuji Velvia 100F film records a proton arc overhead vividly. Visually the reddish color was just noticable in comparison to the green aurora seen filling the northern horizon of the image. Copyright (c) Dennis C. Anderson Night Trax Photography Contact at: auroradude@acsalaska.net or visit: www.auroradude.com

Hercules Rising

Submitted by: Dennis Anderson at Thu Apr 3 20:13:01 2008 UTC

It had been a slow aurora season, between clouds and lack of activity but I was determined to get some shots before the dark nights were completely gone for the high north latitudes. This was the third night out after a snow storm and clouds on the first two. Tonight we had found ourselves under perfectly clear skies camped off the Denali Highway near Cantwell, Alaska. There had been a little activity early on and a nice proton arc to entertain but the aurora never arrived in full force. Still, I had to get something and spent the entire night waiting fo my chance. If this was to be the only shot I would still have been happy. It is taken toward the northeast during the wee hours of March 26, 2008 Using a 6x9 cm medium format camera with a 98mm lens. The constellation Hurcules is at right and the bright star Vega at left. (c) Copyright Dennis C. Anderson Night Trax Photography Contact at: auroradude@acsalaska net or visit: www.auroradude.com

Under the Rainbow

Submitted by: Dennis Anderson at Wed Apr 2 22:50:01 2008 UTC

The aurora was growing so intense that it was leaving shadows on the snow during an outing on the Chena River east of Fairbanks, Alaska on this night of March 26-27, 2008. It was impossible to hold still. There were so many things going on in all parts of the sky at one time. This arc in the northwest had suddenly brightened and formed many rays with purplish undersides that indicated very energetic particles were now penetrating the Earth's atmosphere to lower levels than the most common green type of aurora. I used a 6x9 cm. medium format camera and a 50mm wide-angle lens to record the spectacular sight above our campsite. Copyright (c) Dennis C. Anderson Night Trax Photography Contact at: auroradude@acsalaska.net or visit: www.auroradude.com

South

Submitted by: Dennis Anderson at Wed Apr 2 19:41:01 2008 UTC

This is a fisheye view looking roughly east to west and overhead towards the south on the night of March 26-27, 2008 from the Chena River east of Fairbanks. The aurora had formed multiple arcs that filled the sky even to the southern horizon. Copyright (c) Dennis C. Anderson Night Trax Photography Contact at: auroradude@acsalaska.net or visit: www.auroradude.com

North

Submitted by: Dennis Anderson at Wed Apr 2 19:01:01 2008 UTC

This image is taken with a 180-degree circular fisheye lens and is looking roughly north from along the Chena River east of Fairbanks. It spans from west to east and to overhead. The aurora gathered strength as darkness set in on the night of March 26-27, 2008 but became rather diffuse at times. Still, it was enough to light up the snow on this moonless night. Copyright (c) Dennis C. Anderson Night Trax Photography Contact at: auroraddude@acsalaska.net or visit: www.auroradude.com

Fisheye Sky March 26-27, 2008

Submitted by: Dennis Anderson at Wed Apr 2 08:54:01 2008 UTC

This is a circular fisheye view that shows the entire sky during a night filled with activity. I pointed the camera straight up and its ultra-wide angle lens was able to capture it all, from horizon to horizon. This image has south roughly towards the bottom and is taken from East of Fairbanks, Alaska. Copyright (c) Dennis C. Anderson Night Trax Photography Contact at: auroradude@acsalaska.net or visit: www.auroradude.com

Pleasantly Surprised

Submitted by: Dennis Anderson at Wed Apr 2 08:20:01 2008 UTC

Maybe its because the auroral activity has been slow this last year or so or maybe its because I have too many cameras to keep track of or both but I was finally able to finish a couple rolls of film that had been kicking around for all of this last year and was pleasantly surprised to find this image. It was taken on March 24, 2007 from the beach at Deep Creek, Alaska along the frozen shore of Cook Inlet. The incredible color comes from high energy particles striking nitrogen molocules lower in the atmosphere than the green auroras. Copyright (c) Dennis C. Anderson Night Trax Photography Contact at: auroradude@acsalaska.net or visit: www.auroradude.com

Proton Arc March 25-26, 2008

Submitted by: Dennis Anderson at Wed Apr 2 08:20:01 2008 UTC



This image is a circular fish-eye view of the entire sky taken on the night of March 25-26, 2008 from near Cantwell, Alaska. The red feature is a proton arc. It was easily visible for a couple hours as it hung overhead spanning the sky from west east and slowly moving southward before fading away. I used a 4x5 camera equipped with a 30mm lens to achieve the effect. Copyright (c) Dennis C. Anderson Night Trax Photography Contact at: auroradude@acsalaska.net or visit: www.auroradude.com

A Fire Under the Lights

Submitted by: Dennis Anderson at Tue Apr 1 23:00:01 2008 UTC

A crackling fire can really add to the aurora experience. It warms the heart and the nose during chilly nights. I was glad to have it tonight as the aurora was so active that I had my gloves off as much as I had them on while shuffling cameras and changing film. Still, I could feel the sting of a little frostbite on the fingers the next day from handling cold metal with bare hands. This image is looking eastward from the Chena River on March 26, 2008 during evening twilight. Copyright (c) Dennis C. Anderson Night Trax Photography Contact at: auroradude@acsalaska.net or visit: www.auroradude.com

Into the Night

Submitted by: Dennis Anderson at Tue Apr 1 22:30:01 2008 UTC

A few stars twinkle against the deepening twilight as the colors of a fading sunset linger to contrast the brightening green of an early aurora. This shot is facing westward from along the Chena River east of Fairbanks, Alaska and was acquired using a 6x7 medium format camera with a 38mm wide-angle lens and Fuji Provia 100F film. Copyright (c) Dennis C. Anderson Night Trax Photography Contact at: auroradude@acsalaska.net or visit: www.auroradude.com

From the Woods

Submitted by: Dennis Anderson at Tue Apr 1 21:44:01 2008 UTC

A green band becomes bright and swings southward above spruce and birch trees along the Chena River east of Fairbanks, Alaska on the early evening of March 26, 2008. This view is looking a little south of east as twilight continues to fade and more stars become visible. Copyright (c) Dennis C. Anderson Night Trax Photography Contact at: auroradude@acsalaska.net or visit: www.auroradude.com

Above the Twilight

Submitted by: Dennis Anderson at Tue Apr 1 21:12:01 2008 UTC

A bright veil is seen glowing above the lingering twilight in the west as high clouds still catch a little color from the fading sunset. This image is taken from east of Fairbanks, Alaska along the Chena River on the evening of March 26, 2008 using a home-built 6x7 medium format camera and Fuji Provia 100F film. Copyright (c) Dennis C. Anderson Night Trax Photography Contact at: auroradude@acsalaska.net or visit: www.auroradude.com

Camping Under the Aurora

Submitted by: Dennis Anderson at Tue Apr 1 19:50:01 2008 UTC

There is nothing like a warm fire and the northern lights. Here, the ghost of a camper is seen preparing the evening meal along the Chena River east of Fairbanks, Alaska on March 26, 2008. I had the call to dinner just as the aurora intensified but I didn't want to miss out on the hot meal so I stuffed the pepperoni sandwich into my mouth and shot away. I chewed during the exposures and held it in my mouth while I made adjustments and advanced the film. It wasn't easy but I'll always remember it. Copyright (c) Dennis C. Anderson Night Trax Photography Contact at: auroradude@acsalaska.net or visit: www.auroradude.com

Flickering Lights Animation February 10, 2008

Submitted by: Dennis Anderson at Tue Feb 12 21:00:01 2008 UTC

Here is a string of 25 more frames captured on February 10, 2008. The aurora had entered a flickering, pulsating stage after the main substorm and remained this way for most of the rest of the night.Copyright (c) Dennis C. Anderson Night Trax Photography Contact at: auroradude@acsalaska.net or visit: www.auroradude.com

Animated Aurora February 10, 2008

Submitted by: Dennis Anderson at Sun Feb 10 20:02:01 2008 UTC

Here's a short animation from the night of February 9-10 from near Homer, Alaska. Individual images were taken using a Cannon S5IS at ISO 400 f2.8 and 8 second exposures and then stacked in Photoshop to create an animated GIFF file. Copyright (c) Dennis C. Anderson Night Trax Photography Contact at: auroradude@acsalaska.net or visit: www.auroradude.com

Green Flash

Submitted by: Dennis Anderson at Thu Feb 7 03:10:01 2008 UTC

Just as the sun was setting, the last visible part turned a brilliant green for just a moment. I didn't quite catch the moment but this image is an instant before and shows the green starting. I used a little digital camera at the eyepiece of 11x80 binoculars from near Homer, Alaska looking towards Katmai about 100 miles to the southwest. Copyright (c) Dennis C. Anderson Night Trax PHotography Contact at: auroradude@acsalaska.net or visit: www.auroradude.com

Augustine on Groundhog Day

Submitted by: Dennis Anderson at Tue Feb 5 22:11:01 2008 UTC

It's a beautiful crisp and clear day on February 6, 2008 but all the groundhogs are deep in hibernation. If they were out they certainly would see their shadow. I took advantage of the clear air to image Mount St. Augustine 75 miles SW of Homer, Alaska. Steam can still be seen at the summit two years after its last eruption. Copyright (c) Dennis C. Anderson Night Trax Photography Contact at: auroradude@acsalaska.net or vvisit: www.auroradude.com

Animated Aurora February 3, 2008

Submitted by: Dennis Anderson at Mon Feb 4 23:22:01 2008 UTC

Here is a short clip of auroral activity as seen from near Homer, Alaska on February 3, 2008. It is a one hour sequence from 1:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. local time and is compressed into just a few seconds. I used my wife's new digital camera to take over 50 images at ISO 800 15 seconds at f/2.7 and then created a giff animation in Photoshop. Copyright (c) Dennis C. Anderson Night Trax Photography Contact at: auroradude@acsalaska.net or visit: www.auroradude.com

"SEASONAL GREETINGS"

Submitted by: Dennis Anderson at Fri Dec 21 09:18:01 2007 UTC

Greetings to the Planet Earth from Planet Damitol and from our way cool friends on the hill. Thank you for the electro-navigational light rays that power our ships. Plese can you tell us now where that guy in the funny red hat has gone? We must understand his superior propulsion unit. Nyeet! Nyeeet! I take all responsibility for these visitors. - Dennis Anderson contact at: auroradude@acsalaska.net

"Big Country, Big Camera"

Submitted by: Dennis Anderson at Sat Dec 1 01:41:01 2007 UTC

When traveling Aalska one word always comes to mind..."BIG". It just seems to go on and on. I know I'll never see it all in two life times. There is a snow machine trail leding into the distance. Did it go another mile? Ten? A Hundred? Maybe even a thousand Miles or more. Such is the vastness of the land before you. The image seen here represents "first light" for a home-built 4x5 large format camera. It was a bright February night in 2002 near Meiers Lake just south of the Central Alaska Range. Using large film seems to be the only way to start to capture a sense of this vastness. Copyright (c) Dennis C. Anderson Night Trax Photography Contact at: auroradude@acsalaska.net or visit www.auroradude.com

"Memories of a Bright Snowy NIght"

Submitted by: Dennis Anderson at Thu Nov 29 05:16:01 2007 UTC

Whilst searching through my film archives, I stumbled across a shot that I had taken way back in February of 2002 from the foothills of the Central Alaska Range. I was just starting a large-format camera project then that I have finally completed just this last spring. OK Sun, I am now ready! Bring it on! Boy how I yearn for bright snowy nights filled with auroras such as this! Copyright (c) Dennis C. Anderson Night Trax Photography Contact at: auroradude@acsalaska.net or visit: www.auroradude.com

"SPIRIT SKY"

Submitted by: Dennis Anderson at Tue Oct 30 08:23:01 2007 UTC

This is a crowning aurora, shot from near Talkeetna, Alaska on the evening of October 16, 2003. It invokes images of spirits looking back from a star studded sky. Never once did I feel like I was alone out there. (c) Dennis C. Anderson Night Trax Photography Contact at: auroradude@acsalaska.net or visit www.auroradude.com

"Early Dawn Over the Chugach"

Submitted by: Dennis Anderson at Tue Oct 30 07:21:01 2007 UTC

The last colorful rays of a flickering aurora are beginning to be replaced by the light of dawn as the snow-capped peaks of Alaska's Chugach Range catch light from a moon still high in the south. Flickering auroras are often seen in the wee hours of the morning after the main substorm has abated. I have on occasion seen this phenomenon persist for hours. It very much resembles gentle flames and just like a camp fire it has a very soothing effect - or maybe that's because I've been up all night again! This shot was taken about an hour southeast of Anchorage on the morning of October 16, 2003. Copyright (c) Dennis C. Anderson Night Trax Photography Contact at: auroradude@acsalaska.net or visit: www.auroradude.com

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