March 19-24, 2001 Aurora Gallery
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Summary: The action began Monday, March 19th, when a coronal mass ejection from the Sun hit Earth's magnetosphere. Modest geomagnetic disturbances began soon after the impact and then intensified when the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) near Earth turned south. South-pointing IMFs create a weak spot in Earth's protective magnetosphere that can allow solar wind gusts to penetrate. The strong G3-category storm raged for more than 24 hours.

Three days later on Thursday, March 22nd, a weak interplanetary shock wave --the leading edge of a coronal mass ejection that left the Sun on March 19th-- buffeted Earth's magnetosphere. The impact sparked a period of high-latitude auroras that dazzled Alaskans and other northerners.

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

  Photographer, Location Images Comments

LeRoy Zimmerman, Fairbanks, Alaska #1, #2, more These stunning panorama shots by L. Zimmernan are must-sees! March 20, 2001

Jan Curtis, Fairbanks, Alaska #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, more J. Curtis: "The past two nights were absolutely incredible; beyond words." March 23-24, 2001

Roar Hansen, 20 miles south of Bergen, Norway #1, #2, #3, #4, #5 Photo details: Nikon FE camera, 28 mm f/2.8, 40-60 s, 400 ASA Ektacrome-Elite film. March 19-20, 2001

Rick Stankiewicz, 35,000 feet
above Canada
#1, #2, #3 R. Stankiewicz captured these pictures during a flight from Hamilton, Ontario to Winnipeg, Manitoba, about 35,000 feet above Thunder Bay, Ontario. Photo details: 200 ASA print film, a Canon F1 camera, 24mm lens, f/2.8, 30 sec. March 20, 2001

Tom Eklund, Valkeakoski, Finland #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, more Photo details: Kodak Elitechrome 100 pushed 2 stops to 400ASA. 15 seconds exposure with 28 mm F/1.8 Sigma lens. March 19-20, 2001

Mark Simpson, Calgary, Alberta, Canada #1, #2, #3, #4, more M. Simpson snapped these pictures of auroras over Banff National Park in Canada. The aurora in picture #2 was so bright that it illuminated the scene. #1 has jupiter in the top right corner. #4 shows the gothic Banff Springs hotel poking out above the trees. Photo details: Film: NHGII Fuji Pro, 800ASA. Lens: 28mm, f2.8 30 second exposures. March 19, 2001

John Russell, Nome, Alaska #1, #2, #3, #4, more J. Russell: "Beautiful active displays lasted until daylight on March 20th. Very hazy early-on, but I rather like the effect." Photo details: Nikon N90s, Nikkor 35mm @f2.0, 8, 10 and 13 second exposures. Kodak Porta 800 and Fuji NHG800 films." March 20, 2001

Lyndon Anderson, Bismarck, ND #1 L. Anderson took this photograph from a spot just north of Bismarck, ND, at approximately 11 p.m. (CDT) on Monday, March 19, 2001. Photo details: Royal Gold 400 film. 50 mm lens, 1.4 aperture, 20 seconds. March 19, 2001

Petri Kekkonen, Oulu, Finland #1, #2 P. Kekkonen: "These auroras were photographed near Oulu, Finland, on 19 March, 2001, at 19-21 UT." Photo details: 15 second exposure on Fuji MS 100/1000 film @ 200 ISO with Nikkor AF 28mm f/1.4 D lens. March 19, 2001

Poker Flat Research Range, University of Alaska, Fairbanks 600 kb MPG movie Observers at the Poker Flat Research Range near Fairbanks captured this wide-angle movie of auroras spanning a 2-hr interval on March 22, 2001.

Duane Clausen, Menominee, Michigan #1, #2, #3, #4, more With the aide of a flash unit, Duane Clausen captured several unusually beautiful pictures of auroras over Michigan, including this one with a group of bedazzled cows. March 20-21, 2001

Jan Curtis, Fairbanks, Alaska #1, #2, #3, #4, more J. Curtis: "A major aurora storm is an unbelieveable event, but photographing it is difficult because of the extreme brightness and rapid movement of the aurora. These images are a poor example of what the experience is like in person. Film: (#1 & #4) Fuji Superia 800, f/2.0, 35mm lens, 8 secs; (#2 & #3) Kodak Supra 800, same settings." March 20, 2001

Marek Dudka, Sun
Prairie, WI
#1, #2, #3, #4 M. Dudka: "As I was walking my dog, I noticed a strange greenish blue light about 25-30 degrees over the northern horizon. This cloud of light suddenly became alive. It grew brighter and brighter and it started pulsing hypnotic waves and rays throughout the entire northern sky. The display started around 11:30 PM and lasted till nearly 3:30 am (local time). I can't wait for other aurora displays..." March 19, 2001

Marko Grönroos, Turku, Finland #1, more M. Grönroos captured this unusual panorama of the Northern Lights using a Casio QV-3000EX/Ir digital camera. Photo details: 13 s exposure, aperture F2, about ISO 320 equiv. CCD (ISO 100 + 2 gain setting), temperature about -8 degrees Celsius (temperature affects CCD noise greatly), 35mm equivalent lens. March 20, 2001

Jouni Jussila, Oulu, Finland #1 J. Jussila captured this dazzling image from a spot near the University of Oulu in Finland on 19 March, 2001, at ~21 UT. Photo details: Fuji Provia 100F, pushed 1 stop to 200ASA, 15 seconds exposre with 24 mm F/1,4 (Canon) lens. March 19, 2001

Andre Clay, Fairbanks, Alaska #1, #2 Andre Clay snapped these photos using a Sony DSC-S70 digital camera, ISO 100, 8 second exposure. March 20, 2001

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