Dancing Lights

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I can't decide whether I miss the penguins, or the Auroras most about Antarctica.

As a meteorologist, anything in the sky (or falling from it) has always fascinated me. The Aurora Australis isn't technically weather related, but it's space weather, and it needs clear skies and no light pollution to see … (read more)

I can't decide whether I miss the penguins, or the Auroras most about Antarctica.

As a meteorologist, anything in the sky (or falling from it) has always fascinated me. The Aurora Australis isn't technically weather related, but it's space weather, and it needs clear skies and no light pollution to see it.

Antarctica is the perfect place for them.

The year I was there was particularly active for solar storms. Auroras don't "just happen" all the time, but sometimes it did feel like it. I'm not sure I truly appreciated just how lucky we were until I got home. Some nights the auroras were so bright, the snow and ice was so lit up with greens and purples that you wouldn't need to turn your headtorch on to walk around. The "lady" would dance above our heads, pulsing and ribboning across the sky. It would wane for a little then arc back up brightly with a renewed burst of energy. It is mesmerising to watch.

This photo was taken at 5am on my way to work for the day. The building in the foreground was affectionately known as "The Pineapple". It has been used for so many different things, from a science lab to a helicopter arrivals hall. When I got there, we used to have band practice in there. I think it was set to be moved just after I left. It's a shame because it was in the best location, right down by the water looking out over the sea ice towards Gardiner and Magnetic Islands.

There is something about the way auroras move that make me want to whisper. They seem to give the sky depth in the darkness. The way they dance and flicker amongst the stars is so ghostly and other worldly that I'd often have to remind myself to just sit and watch rather than fiddle with camera settings. And in those moments where you did stop in silence, with just the rustle of your jacket and your breath as a soundtrack, the Aurora's dance would make you feel so tiny, it would take your breath away.


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Comments

Such an amazing walk to work Jenny. Such magic. Lovely to be under a sky so clear that you can experience such magic. ♥︎♥︎⚖️♥︎♥︎

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