Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Lite Brites

Tonight I am a pretty lucky guy. Midday I was asked to
lead a small group of friends to view auroras. We had
had some fairly large (for McMurdo) but fairly faint
auroras visible in town on Tuesday night and the conditions
looked like they would be good for more tonight. Our friend
Antz had a previous commitment so he asked if I could drive
the group to the top of an area near Arrival Heights, over-
looking Scott Base. I was skeptical that we would see any
auroras but boy was I wrong. Getting out of town made all
the difference in the world when it comes to seeing these
magic lights covering the entire sky!

They were easily the best auroras we'd ever seen and came not
only in the usual green and white, but bright pink as well.
Much like ribbon candy that you'd find in an old-time store.
They danced across the sky and we all ran out of words to
describe them. Whiplike...curtain-like...almost alive.
All of these come to mind. Of course pictures don't do any
justice. After almost two hours, our toes felt frozen, our
faces hurt from smiling and our camera batteries had given up
due to the cold. Along with my trip to the Pole and afternoon
with the Adelie Penguins, it was definitely a highlight of my
year here on the Ice.

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