Ever since I first heard of the Northern Lights (probably as a kid watching the TV show Northern Exposure) I have wanted to see them. In January of the year 2000, a group of friends and I went to the Sydney Observatory for a night-time viewing to celebrate a friend's birthday. I mentioned to one of the astronomers that I wanted to see the aurora borealis, and he said that 2012 was going to be the year - that the activity goes in 12-year cycles, and that the next peak period was 2012.
Ever since then, I have had 'Northern Lights 2012' as a sort of mantra in my mind. When I ended up in Canada in 2011 for my cousin's wedding I thought it would be unlikely that I'd be able to make the trip again so soon. However, thanks to Air Canada providing me with no food on the London-Vancouver flight on that trip, my subsequent email of complaint, and their conciliatory offer of a 15% discount on any return fare, it was able to become a reality this (northern) spring, in time to catch the peak period of the cycle.
|Our second encounter, outside Dawson City and away from the lights of town. A bit more colour visible to the naked eye, though still more impressive captured on a long exposure photograph (this one around 15 seconds)|
I hardly know what to do with myself now that I have achieved this adult-lifelong goal!
|The spectacular display we saw, this time outside of Whitehorse. The green was visible to the naked eye, and they rippled and danced in the most incredible way! Here I was shooting at around 5-8 second exposures.|