Tuesday, March 23, 2010

End of Day 5 in Alaska

Day began with a late breakfast in the hotel, followed by my aurora photography lecture.  All went well; lots of interest. Now all we need are some lights!

Our afternoon began with a trip to the Alaska Pipeline, followed by arrival at the Poker Flat Research Range where we got a great lecture by Neal Brown (former director) about the history of the site--the only University-owned rocket range in the world.  Photos appear at http://twitter.com/dennismammana.  Then it was off to Mt. Aurora for a terrific salmon dinner followed by another lecture by Neal on the research that PFRR has done to advance aurora science.

Afterwards we headed up the hill to SkiLand for aurora viewing. It was quite cold and windy there, and the auroras decided not to make an appearance.  We wound up leaving early since there was absolutely no indication that anything was about to appear.  A few folks did manage to get some photos of stars over the snowy landscape, but most didn't want to leave the warmth of the lodge for such a "mundane" sight as a beautiful starry sky!

We'll try again on Tuesday--our last night in Fairbanks.  We're all hoping... despite the fact that the forecast (both weather and aurora) are not promising.

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