This is a photo of the darkest day of the year in The Polar Night in Narvik. All though the sun is far from showing itself, we have a few hours in the middle of the day when the light is just Magical. The umber reflections of the sun below the horizon emanates the landscape and creates a special, dreamy warm light despite the cold up here.
The days are rapidly getting shorter. Geographically the sun should disappear on November 22. But because of the mountains, the sun disappears a few days earlier. Geographically the sun reappears the February 6., but again because of the mountains the actual observation of the sun is a few days later.
In between these dates it is dark here. Around Christmas it is just a faint dusky light around noon, the rest of the 22 hours of the day it is dark. Pitch dark – as in the middle of the night. It is the dark season. But this time of year makes it even more cozy with lights, especially candle lights. AND it is the season of Northern Lights! During summer, the midnight sun lights up the sky day and night, thus drowning the faint light from the Northern Light. In the winter-time it is the other way around!
Even now the sun is setting early. This photo of reflections in the snow-covered mountains from sunset was taken 15:58 today.
I am crazy busy today – but I just popped by my blog to show my readers an example of last night activity. The Kp-index was steadily around five, which at these latitudes is high (northern lights activity normally starts at Kp 2/3. Tonight there is a geomagnetic storm coming with an estimated strength of G1 (the scale goes from G0 – no activity to G5 where all hell breaks loose and satellites gets their curcuitboards fried and powergrids here on Earth fails).
Unfortunately there were strong winds and quite a bit of rain and partly cloudy yesterday. But still the build up to the storm was quite obvious in between the clouds!
Standing there in the darkness – jumping up and down like a little kid at Christmas – and shouting -Yes! and Aaaah!, I probably look quite silly for a grown man, but every occasion like yesterday is exactly like Christmas to me! The Aurora borealis – Northern Light is so awe-inspiring that I wish all the japanese, Korean and Chinese tourist here in Norway could see it! They really are memories for a lifetime. Last night Kp-index was 3 (2 and above means chances to see northern lights at these latitudes). Today the Kp is even higher, at 5 – so I am soooo hoping for equally crisp, clear skies and even bigger lights!
I managed to get great many shots yesterday. And I had company. Danielle came down to the water with her boyfriend and I helped her getting into the fine techniques of shooting Northern Lights photographs.
And another bonus last night was the swarms of beautiful meteorites. I belive it must have been the orionides that should be passing just these days. Although my camera was pointed in the wrong directions, when I got home, I found that actually three of my photos had captured these beautiful sights. My head was obviously pointing in the wrong direction at these points, as I didn’t see them until I started flipping through the shots.
Well, here is a tiny fraction of last night’s phenomenal photo shoot. Enjoy!
Incidentally exactly one year ago I was also shooting Aurora Borealis – Northern Lights photos. I recall the conditions were somewhat better than today, but still, I am not complaining. I shot a few, but this was – if not the best – the most interesting because of the perspective. The aurora is partly obscured by a cloud.
Aurora borealis is formed some 80 – 3-400 km above Earth Surface by charged particles from the sun that excites atoms in the ionosphere. When the electrons in the excited atoms falls back again to lower states of energy, they release the energy, from the collision with the particle from the sun, in the form of a photon which is the light waves/particles that we observe as light on our retina.
My latest English poem. Can’t read the text? Just click the picture to enlarge!