The Northern Lights

March 18, 2002
Photographs taken between 9:45 and 10:30 p.m.

I arrived at my viewing location at 9:45 a.m. local time. Not any too soon. There was a very bright and well defined arc - starting in the northwest sky and extending about 20 degrees at the highest point in the north, to the east-northeast. I just about arrived too late, as I observed a beautiful substorm for about 25-30 minutes. A "good" part of the northeast sky was red, with rays extending to the second (double star) star on the Big Dipper handle. In addition, I observed red glows directly north, and some to the north-northwest. The show was quieter from 10:15 to 10:45 p.m., and was quickly fading at the end of that time.

The top green / blue layer of aurora seen in the above photograph and in the last two photographs is further south than the main aurora in the background (which shows green at the lower altitudes and red at the higher altitudes).  Thus, the photographs give the perception that this layer is at the same or higher level than the red aurora.


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