Tag Archives: aurora borealis

Ballad of the Northern Lights

They rolled around with a soundless sound
Like softly bruised silk;
They poured into the bowl of the sky
With the gentle flow of milk.

In eager, pulsing violet
Their wheeling chariots came,
Or they poised above the Polar rim
Like a coronal of flame.

From depths of darkness fathomless
Their lancing rays were hurled,
Like the all-combining search-lights of
The navies of the world.

There on the roof-pole of the world
As one bewitched I gazed,
And howled and grovelled like a beast
As the awful splendors blazed.

(This is an excerpt from a much longer poem)

Robert Service

The image at the top can be found here.

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Witnessing an aurora first-hand is a truly awe-inspiring experience no matter what planet you may be on.

Source: What’s It Like to See Auroras on Other Planets?

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Auroras expected to dazzle again tonight – Technology & Science – CBC News.

This story is actually from last night – but check out the pictures.

Aurora Borealis

(Note: this is a slightly rewritten excerpt from my second book Sun, Moon and Stars. I hope that isn’t out of line, but I still like the piece as it is.)

 In the same year so bright a light illumined a wide spread of lands in the middle of the night that you would have thought that it was high noon. On a number of occasions fiery globes were also seen traversing the sky at night-time, so that they seemed to light up the whole earth. (The History of the Franks IX.4)

The Northern Lights are a more personal topic than many in this blog. I grew up in Labrador, which is in the sub-Arctic of Canada, and we did get some good displays. (For the best, you go further north, above the tree line.) Apart from the great colour show you can get, the thing I most remember about them is the hush – people would stop and look, and no one made any noise, just watched the pink and green bands undulate across the sky. It wasn’t hard to see why the Innu and Inuit were in awe of them. Continue reading