Alaska Range

Twilight's Transitions!

There are so many types of magical lighting conditions in Alaska, which vary greatly by season, some only occurring during a very short window in any given year!

The scenes above show the transitions of different lighting from twilight to sunrise across the great central peaks of the Alaska Range. From left are: Triple Crown, Mt. Foraker, Mt. Hunter, and Denali. Transitions are: Twilight-Moonrise-Aurora-Moonset Silhouette-Sunlit Summits over two nights in March 2018.

This lighting combination only occurs in the spring because of the snowload across the land. Autumn twilight does not have the reflectivity of a winter's snowload. At this time of year at high latitudes, the moon and sun begin to "switch places" … the moon's path and arc regressing to the southern sky and the sun's path and arc gaining in the northern sky.

Within about 40 days of these scenes, our stars and auroral displays will no longer be visible because our atmosphere will be well-lit until the end of July. Our sun will remain high in the northern skies for 18-24 hours, barely dipping below the northern horizon, if at all, and pre-dawn/post-dusk twilights are many hours long.

All images © Dave Parkhurst