By Naomi Klouda
For those who follow aurora borealis displays, all the right conditions are aligning for further exhibits of the dancing lights in the days ahead. Watch for large geomagnetic storms hitting Earth at night, and don’t forget to look straight up.
That’s just one piece of advice from famed northern lights photographer, Dennis C. Anderson, of Homer, who goes whole years without this kind of luck, when long winter months drag on with little to no solar flare activity. When an active stretch such as this comes along, he sleeps just a few hours a day.
“We’ve had some great shows,” Anderson said Monday morning. In the rareness of his work, Anderson uses hand-built cameras he calls “Franken cams,” film and 100-year-old photography methods for slowing down exposures to capture the northern lights. Anderson was featured in the Washington Post this week along with his photos.
As for the alignment of fortuitous events, these are it: On a scale of KP 0-9, 9 being the best, Thursday offered the most impressive series of dancing lights. It came at a KP-5, Anderson calculates.
“A KP-5 is a large geomagnetic storm. It will be seen as soon as it gets dark and it might put on several shows during the night. There were at least four sub shows that night,” Anderson said. “We had aurora visible by 9 p.m. with the first storm by 9:30 and another after 11 p.m. A third one came at 2:15 a.m. and a fourth was predawn around 5:30 a.m. That’s the best we’ve had here for a number of years.” Continue reading