The heavens have been active this month with phenomenal active displays of the northern lights or "Aurora Borialis". Dec 14th was a huge geomagnetic storm around the world with Auroras as far south as Arizona - and we were lucky to see a little bit of them right here in Michigan!We were coming home from a holiday party in Saline that night (in the boonies away from city lights)- and noticed the many shooting stars and then awesome green spikes dancing on the northern horizon - WOW - They disappeared before we could get any good shots - I tried - but without a tripod I got a great green blob! (about 11:30PM or so) We called Tracy and she was going crazy with awesome lights in bright greens and reds dancing all around the skies - 360 degrees. She could see them from her windows. It was only around 7 PM so they planned on photographing later when it is usually better - but unfortunately the clouds rolled in.
Want to see what other photographers around the world documented on Dec 14th??? - this is an awesome photo gallery site with quite a few images form Michigan and surrounding states, Arizona, New York, Alaska and terrific ones for Finland and Norway. http://spaceweather.com/aurora/gallery_01dec06.htm
I love this site out of Fairbanks Alaska that gives a full Aurora for cast so you can see who in the worls has a chance of seeing them. http://www.gedds.alaska.edu/AuroraForecast Lots of info and links if you are fascinated by this phenomena like I am.
Tracy and Rick in Alaska were fortunate to see them dancing in the skies 2 more times since then and did get some great images. Wow!
You can see her images - she posts faithfully to her Flikr account at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/spicegirl I did brighten these up slightly in Photoshop - without adding any colors that were not there. (like a longer time exposure) These were taken right from her property.
December 21st was the winter solstice and Tracy and Rick had a party at their house to celebrate. They all get excited about this because starting now the days will all get a little longer each day instead of shorter. That day the sun rose around 10:30AM and set around 3:15PM. Even then the sun only rises a little above the horizin. They have just had a lot of snow but temps as high as in the 20's!