Nature's Light Show

Strong solar storms have been observed since this past Friday, 10 May, that people from various parts of the U.S., including here in Chicago where I live, have been witnessing this wonderful phenomenon -- the Aurora Borealis. There are a few places in the U.S. that get to witness the Northern Lights with some frequency because of their location high up the continent, like Alaska, and sometimes northern Wisconsin, and maybe Minnesota. But this time, since the geomagnetic storms have been extremely strong, we are witnessing the lights here in Chicago, even in some southern parts of the country. This is not common at all. And because of its rarity here where I am, this makes it special. Unfortunately, the presence of light pollution made it hard to see the Aurora in its full glory, unlike when I witnessed it for the first time in Reykjavik, Iceland in the fall of 2018. (Read more)

Jeremy Jo

5/12/20241 min read

My first ever photo of the Aurora Borealis

My first time in Reykjavik, and ever seeing the Northern Lights, I was walking near this music hall, Harpa, by the harbor at sunset. I noticed the horizon having this radiant green colour. I didn't think much of it, but I thought it was wild that the sunset in Iceland had the colour green. The lights weren't dancing just yet; they were just there on the horizon. (I learned some time ago, too, that if one was to look and closely watch the sun setting, one would notice a flash of green light as the last burst of light before the sun's disappearance.)

I went about to find some place where I could have dinner then. See, I didn't go to Iceland for the Northern Lights. I go to Iceland for its Pylsur -- its tasty hotdog. So I wasn't even expecting to see Aurora that when I realised what was happening above me in the night sky, that made it for a wonderful surprise. Although that first night I could recall getting a bit of sprinkling rain here and there, thus a bit cloudy, that I didn't see much, but enough to be in awe. I thought it was very cool then. And boy, did nature have something else in store for me for the following night.

So, the second night... it was a spectacle! It was magical -- a sight to behold. I was treated to nature's light show, and a show it was indeed! I can never forget. From that point, I kept going back to Iceland. (Well, to be honest, I go there to eat Pylsur and fish and chips. They are outstanding.)

While it's good to take photos, the Northern Lights is best experienced just being fully immersed in the wonder of it all.
(Click image to see in full scale)