March 2003
Aurora Gallery
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Summary: Solar wind streams flowing from coronal holes hit Earth's magnetic field on March 3rd, 5th, 14-20th and 26-27th. In each case, the impacts triggered G1- to G2-class geomagnetic storms. See also the February 2003 aurora gallery.

Unless otherwise stated, all images are copyrighted by the photographers.

  Photographer, Location Images Comments

Chuck Johnson, Poker Flat Research Range, near Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
March 25
#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8 On March 25th, scientists at the Poker Flat Research Range near Fairbanks, Alaska, launched a pair of rockets directly into some bright Northern Lights. Their purpose: to lay down a trail of easily-seen chemicals and thus reveal the motions of air inside the aurora borealis. Chuck Johnson photographed the launch. "After reaching altitude, the rockets appeared to flatten out and fly to the north where they released glowing chemicals," says Johnson. "The 'man-made auroras' lingered in the sky for a long time."

Troy Birdsall, Poker Flat Research Range, near Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
March 25
#1, #2, more Troy photographed the same dramatic rocket launch at Poker Flat Research Range that Chuck Johnson saw. Stay tuned for a web movie from Troy!

David Vier, near Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
March 13-15
#1, #2, #3, #4, #5 D. Vier: "the moon was so bright that it was easy to see one's surroundings, yet the aurora was easily visible most of the night from local midnight to dawn, with a number of bright substorms. Each night the temperature was around -15 degrees Fahrenheit with windchills below -30 degrees. The night of Mar 13 the Anchorage airport was actually closed due to winds of up to 70 mph!" Details: Minolta Maxxum 7000, Tokina 20-35 mm lens @f2.8 for 15 seconds. 800 and 400 ASA film.

Jean-Michel Sauve, Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
March 16
#1, #2, #3, #4 J-M Sauve: "These beautiful strong auroras lasted 2 hrs. Details: 24mm @ 2.8, Provia 400F"

Ulrike Haug, near Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
March 5
#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, more U. Haug: "March 5th brought an interesting night of aurora activity. The first part of the substorm showed visible red in the curtains. In three of the images you can see a red light trailing upwards as Poker Flat launched a weather balloon to check on the winds."

Juha Kinnunen, Jyväskylä
March 20
#1, #2, #3, more J. Kinnunen: "Last night brought us the finest aurora display of this year. The sky was perfectly clear, the temperature was around -10 C. Details: Nikon F100, Nikkor 28/1.4, Fuji Provia 400F."

Chuck Johnson, Cleary Summit, Alaska, USA
March 19
#1, #2, #3, #4, #5 The auroras competed favorably with a rising full Moon in these pictures from Chuck Johnson. Photo details: Olympus digital C3040, 400 ISO, 16 seconds, f1.8 lens

John Russell, near Nome, Alaska, USA
March 18
#1, #2, #3, more J. Russell: "I actually saw the already moonlit landscape brighten a bit as this intense blast came! This substorm lasted less than a minute." Photo details: Nikkor 28mm, f1.4, Fuji Superia 400, 3 seconds.

Robert Siciliano, Parks Highway, Alaska, USA
March 16
#1, #2, more R. Siciliano: "I took these two photos on my drive to Anchorage, AK last night. The first one was taken near Clear, AK at approximately 2:30 AM. I like the way the aurora snakes its way in and out of the clouds to form what appears to be an outline of a bird in flight. The second one was taken outside Healy, AK about 2 hours later. These two locations were the only clear sky spots for my 350 mile drive."

Dennis Mammana, near the Alaska Pipeline about 10 miles north of Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
March 10
#1, #2, #3, #4, movies: big or small, more

D. Mammana: "I used a Canon G-2 digital camera set at ISO 200 and f/2, with an exposure time of 6 seconds."

Don't miss Dennis' movie of an auroral swirl around the Moon: small movie (200k); big movie (1 Mb).

Daryl Pederson, Girdwood, Alaska, USA
March 14
#1 P. Jeffery: "The activity was not intense, but after a long rainy winter in southcentral Alaska it was nice to see the Northern Lights again."

Jan Curtis, Poker Flat Research Range, north of Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
March 1
#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, more J. Curtis: "All these were taken on either Kodak Max 800 or Fuji Superia 400 (bluer tones) film with a 35 mm lens at f/1.4 and f/2.0 for 5 to 10 secs. "

Peter Jeffery, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada
March 11
#1, #2, #3 P. Jeffery: "The moon was very bright--not full, but still light enough to see everything that you were doing without using a flash light. I used kodak 800 iso film, F3.8, 20mm lens for 25 seconds."

Carolyn Szepanski, Hutcher Pass, in the Talkeetna mountains of Alaska, USA
March 3
#1, #2, #3, #4 C. Szepanski: "I used a Nikon FM2, with a 50 mm 1:1.8 Nikkor lens, and 200 ISO Safeway film. My exposures ranged from 15 seconds to 25 seconds."

Jouni Jussila, northern Finland
March 11
#1 The planetary K index was only 2 when Jouni saw these lovely auroras.

Chuck Johnson, Cleary Summit Bed & Breakfast, Cleary Summit, Alaska, USA
March 5
#1, #2, #3, #4 Photo details: Olympus digital C3040, 400 ISO, 16 seconds, f1.8 lens

John Russell, Nome, Alaska, USA
March 5
#1, #2, #3, more Photo details: Nikkor 28mm / f1.4, Superia 800, and 3 to 8 seconds

Nicola Foster, Lake Tjornin, Reykjavik, Iceland
March 5
#1, more none

Joe Slagle, near Anchorage, Alaska, USA
March 3
#1 The tiny thumbnail doesn't do justice to the lovely full-sized panoramic image.

Peter Davies, Anchorage, Alaska, USA
March 3
#1, #2 The city lights of Anchorage at 11 o'clock at night were not bright enough to overwhelm these Northern Lights.

Warren Justice, Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba, Canada
March 3
#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6 W. Justice: " My son Nathan and I went snowshoeing around Edward's Lake in Riding Mountain National Park. The temperature was about -30C; it was extremely frosty. Thank goodness there was no wind!" Photo details: 28mm, f1.9 @ f2, 8-20sec., Fuji Superia 800.

Philippe Moussette, Valcartier, Québec , Canada
March 3
#1, #2, #3, more Check out this wide-angle image, a 2 minute exposure captured by Philippe using a fisheye lens.

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