Archive for the ‘Aurora Australis’ Category

Spectacular spectacular

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

Last night granted us the gift of the most impressive aurora we have seen since our arrival in Antarctica – a slight glow half-hidden in clouds erupted within minutes to form a dazzling display that filled the sky.  Huge arcs of green stretched across the stars while a shifting, twisting veil hung mesmerisingly to the south.   This lasted for around 15 minutes before fading  – although I was too slow to get my camera into position to capture this enourmous display, the slowly morphing remains and several distinct bands lasted for the next few hours before fading with the pre-dawn glow.

Click on the images for a larger view.

Photo-of-the-Day… uh… Night – 15 June 2008

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

We had our most intense, active and spectacular aurora thus far – a whopping 400 nanotesla flux in the magnetic field (compared to the 40-80 nT that caused most of the other auroras you’ve seen on this site) briefly lit the sky with sweeping green, pink, yellow, red and blue. Unfortunately, invading cloud cover prevented us from seeing the best of the show, and made photography difficult. Another beautiful atmospheric feature also chased us from the roof before too long: ‘diamond dust’. Like a mist of ice, diamond dust is iridescent when lit; the air itself glitters; but the price of its beauty is the biting cold. On the base’s roof, exposed to the sparkling wind at minus-twenty-something-nasty, I was content to lie a while and watch nature’s artwork without fussing over too many photos: Ice crystals shimmered past silver moonlit gossamer clouds, and above it all the aurora morphed and flowed; the ball-gown of Mother Earth trailing into space as she danced her pas de deux with the distant Sun.

Midwinter Party Invitation

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Dear reader, please consider yourself invited: