November 20, 2017

Eye on the Trail: Telephoto Story – Tanana Night Sky

Setting sun on the Mighty Yukon River at Tanana on March 8th of Iditarod XLV

Mushers often share vivd descriptions of the night sky they experience while running between checkpoints.  How would the dogs describe what they see of Mother Natures night time art?  Between sunset on March 8th of Iditarod XLV and sunrise of March 9th, she decorated Tanana’s night sky.  It was minus 28 degrees without even a hint of a breeze.  It might sound funny that we, myself and Mike Kinney, had to walk a good distance out of the village to get away from the ambient light to capture the aurora.  You’re wondering about ambient light?  Even in the bush of Alaska, villages are well lighted with street lights.  Mother Nature painted quickly and erased her canvas several times to provide new sky art.  Just as quickly as she started her show, she packed up her paints and departed.  

The sun rises over the Yukon on March 9th

… and here’s what happened between sunset and sunrise…

Aurora taken just outside of Tanana. (photos of aurora by Mike Kinney)