Tonight February 17, 2011 there is a chance there may be northern lights displaying in the northern skies of the lower 48 States. Find a dark place and look north. The further north you live the better the chance you’ll see the Aurora Borealis. These sites listed below may help you when looking for the aurora. Still the best thing is to be outside looking up in a dark area. The sky needs to be clear. You won’t see the aurora borealis through the clouds but if it is partly cloudy you may see something. The Northern Lights change throughout the night. It may be dancing wildly and 20 minutes later the sky will just have an overall glow and then later be back to dancing.
Wrap up warm. One way to save your neck is to take out the lawn chair and put a pad and sleeping bag on it, jump in, and watch the sky. A hot water bottle wrapped in a sock will keep warm for a long time and add lots of heat to your little nest.
If you are taking pictures remember your camera will use the batteries faster in the cold. You need a tripod. Set your camera at a high ISO, open the lens, and try different times of 3 to 20 seconds. Get your gear ready before so you don’t miss the show while you are search for your equipment.
Here are some links that make be helpful
- http://fairbanks-alaska.com/northern-lights-alaska.htm – Lots including link for picture taking
- http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/pmap/ – This site has an image of where the aurora is now
Have fun, good luck!
If you miss the aurora at home there is still time to come to Fairbanks and see the Aurora Borealis this spring.