Saturday, December 1, 2007

The beauty of the northern sky

I work on a ridge overlooking the Tanana Valley and the Alaska Range to the south. The views of the sky are absolutely amazing, especially in the winter as the sun sweeps low across the southern horizon. Here are just a few recent pictures of the scenes that unfold outside the window.

Strong winds aloft blowing across the Alaska Range create these stacked lenticular clouds. The ragged one just above the ridge is formed as the winds whip over Denali (20,320 ft).

I call this one the "false" sun. This is NOT the real sun--I swear, I was there. The sun set about 3 minutes before this photo was shot. The bright orange figure above the horizon is caused by some crazy optics going on in the ice crystals of the cirrus clouds. I presume if the sun had still been up there would have been a nice sun pillar extending up above the sun. The silhouette of Denali can also be seen jutting up above the ridge on the right side of the photo.

A huge swath of snow can be seen blowing off of Mt Hayes about 70 miles away. The snow is probably being carried many miles away from the mountain.
And I couldn't go without a shot of the northern lights. A friend of mine actually took this photo.

1 comment:

Dan Fan said...

Wow! What fantastic pictures! Your friend is quite talented. :)