Dancing Curtains of Light

From the 13-17 March I was in Tromso, before heading further north for the eclipse. The 14th was the first chance of a clear night and friends and I joined an aurora chase out of Tromso into darker, hopefully clear skies. We were not disappointed. About 9pm soft auroral light started and then slowly intensified.

Dazzling curtains of light danced overhead on 14 March 2015.
Dazzling curtains of light danced overhead on 14 March 2015.

For the next few hours, dancing curtains of light gently swirled and moved above us and not only were we treated to the usual green and often red auroras but also purple and yellow.
The following night was unfortunately cloudy (it turns out the 14th and 15th were two of the best nights of the season until the activity of March 17, though this occurred during the daytime in Svalbard) but the night of the 16th was clear and we joined friends on a chase to Kvaloya. Upon arriving we immediate looked up and there again the dancing curtains of light were there. Although slightly fainter than the 14th, the purple and yellow colours in the auroras were stronger and along with these colours and the usual green and red, we also saw a deep turquoise blue from time to time.
Subtle purples and yellows were a feature of the aurora on 16 March 2015.
Subtle purples and yellows were a feature of the aurora on 16 March 2015.

Both nights have been a highlight of our Nordic adventure (along with a stunning solar eclipse yesterday) and something my friends and I agree we’ll never forget.

There are currently reverberations happening from the March 17th Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) and we hope to try for some Svalbard auroras tonight if the lovely (but cold, -26.6 degrees this morning) weather holds!

Aurora over Kvaloya on 16 March 2015.
Aurora over Kvaloya on 16 March 2015.

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