Great Pink Aurora
Tonight (March 12th/13th) through tomorrow morning is the 27th anniversary of the third largest auroral event recorded since 1940. It was so powerful it quickly bypassed Alaskan night skies, bent over the curvature of the Earth & headed equator-wards. Because faint aurora was visible in the southern skies over Pioneer Peak all night, I merely waited…it would eventually return. An hour before dawn the southern horizon filled with the most intense array of auroral colors I had ever witnessed…then & now. Auroral displays of this magnitude may only occur once every 30-50 years, the only two larger storms having occurred in 1941 & 1960.
This geomagnetic event plunged 6 million folks of Quebec into total darkness after frying components in the city’s power grid. It was due to this grand event & similar events since then, that encouraged governments worldwide to spend trillions of $$$$’s for further studies. Man-made Earth- and space-bound systems, are extremely fragile and can be and have been severely damaged by such storms. As our world enters neck-deep into the ‘digital age’, protecting these systems is more critical than ever before in human history. All that aside…auroras are without any doubt the largest, most powerful & captivatingly beautiful light phenomena around Earth. Thankfully I was patient enough to await the auroral oval to return to Alaskan skies for this experience of a lifetime. Enjoy!