Posts Tagged ‘aurora borealis’

One of my favorite activities
when I visit Copper Harbor
and the Keweenaw Peninsula
is to watch the sky.

Clear Nights reveal a Milky Way carpet.

Sometimes we are favored with a display
of the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis).

Often we are reminded of the power and majesty of Mother Nature.

Surrounded by forests, mountains and Lake Superior
I’m always left with a feeling of awe.


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The Sky is Fabulous

One of the greatest treats for us … when visiting Copper Harbor … is the sky.

Copper Harbor Sunrise

Copper Harbor Sunrise

Sunrise is often spectacular.

On a calm morning sunrise over Copper Harbor often looks like the scene above.

Copper Harbor at Dusk

Copper Harbor at Dusk

Dusk seems to use a very different filter.

Stragglers participating in a Keweenaw Adventure kayak tour are shown returning to shore in the photo above.

Copper Harbor Sunset

Copper Harbor Sunset

Sunset fires up more colors.

Only 20 minutes later, Mother Nature uses another set of color filters when the sun drops below the horizon.

Some very special visual magic begins once the sky grows dark.

Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) Over Lake Superior Observed from Copper Harbor, Michigan

Northern Lights Over Copper Harbor & Lake Superior

Northern Lights are a Very Special Treat

Mid-week, during a very special time between dusk & moonrise, we enjoyed more than an hour watching the darkening sky become populated with planets and stars.  Constellations were clearly identifiable. Meteorites flared and disappeared. When I pointed out the first meteorite, my wife admonished me that they should be called falling stars … otherwise your wishes couldn’t come true.

We watched nearly a dozen satellites trace their way across the sky. Many seemed to be following a path through the Milky Way.

The greatest visual treat for us that night was watching the Aurora Borealis. It wasn’t a spectacular show. To us, it initially looked mostly like city lights casting a pale light in the sky. As we watched, the lights created shapes that seemed to reach toward the zenith above us … resolving into a gauze curtain waving in the breeze. Then … it disappeared.

We looked more to the east to watch the Copper Harbor Lighthouse flash white-and-green a few times.  Next time we looked northwest, the Northern Lights were back.

In the twenty years we have been visiting the Keweenaw Peninsula we have had the pleasure of watching the Northern Lights three times. The summer of the most brilliant light show in Copper Harbor, we were amazed by a preview as we were leaving the Chicago area. We had prepared so well the night before that we were able to begin our 500-mile drive well before sunup.

The picture above offers a color display that is enhanced by the 60-second exposure setting. The orange along the horizon is the residual light from the sun which was well below the horizon. What we saw as a white gauze shows up more as the green that is typical of the Aurora one might see in winter.

Again …

To see pictures of Copper Harbor area you can visit my Walking Keweenaw photo web gallery.

You will find information about Copper Harbor, Michigan, using these links:

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