Aurora in Alaska's Twilight

Twlight Aurora

Springtime in Alaska brings on a northern twilight as the sun drops below the horizon for just a short time. It is at this edge of the day/night transition where auroral displays will appear…IF they appear at all. These scenes show the changes in twilight, night and auroral formations over a 45 minute period in mid-April.

Top-to-bottom: Twilight silhouettes the great peaks of the central Alaska Range as auroral arcs begin to dance, illuminating the Talkeetna River and ice edge.

Twilight dims further, the constellation Pleiades (Seven Sisters) begins to set as the aurora starts to intensify in the deeper darkness of night with multiple arcs. Twilight is gone as Venus joins Pleiades, however the aurora brightens enough to light up the Alaska Range, the Talkeetna River and the massive ice slabs above the river. Venus and Pleiades set lower as the auroral formation rises higher above Earth and strengthens directly beyond the Alaska Range, covering about a third of the night sky.

A little extra patience out in the field leads to some exceptional experiences!

All images © Dave Parkhurst