Aurora Borealis

March 11, 2012

Last night my husband and I decided to take an impromptu drive north from Minneapolis with the kids.  We heard that due to the recent solar flare storms the Northern Lights would be a spectacular show – and the skies were clear.

Screen Shot 2012-03-11 at 10.17.18 PMI remember seeing them once when I was much much younger – maybe 9th grade?  We were WAY up north at the tip of MN on vacation (We rented a cabin for a week.) My mom woke me up in the middle of the night (like 2 or 3am) to show me the dancing skies.

I was a horrible teenage girl who needed her beauty sleep, and was half awake – so I wasn’t happy that she woke me, and remember very little.

I remember it feeling like I was inside an Easter egg.  The universe was oval shaped, and I was in the inside – and all around me was a squiggly line of green with green-ish lights falling from the top point above my head.  I went back to bed rather than enjoy the rareness of the occasion.


So last night, we decided about 8:30 at night that we would hop into the car and drive North out of the cities until we got too tired to drive any more, then sit in a farm field or other dark open area until the light show started.

Well… I hate to say it – But we got about an hour out of the city before we got exhausted, and Ethan started coughing like crazy (he had just had a runny nose earlier in the day.) and so we decided that we should just stop and view the stars.

We parked in a muddy field, and watched the night sky. Andrew has been fascinated with the moon and stars (and especially spaceships) over the last few weeks, and so we’ve been talking a lot about them.

I don’t ever remember seeing Jupiter and Venus in the night sky ever – so that was really cool to see too.

We watched the moon rise on the East, and looked at the stars for just a little while, and then headed back home.

This morning I read on the site that I was getting my information from about the times that the solar storm was supposed to hit Earth that the Auroras never showed up last night, even given the perfectly clear sky and low moon.  So I was happy that we didn’t drive too far North or wait until 1am.

When Andrew and I had a chat this morning about what he remembers from last night – He remembers playing peek-a-boo with the Moon, Jupiter going to sleep (because it was low on the horizon, and eventually we couldn’t see it any more) and Daddy Peeing in the mud (we were parked in a super muddy field, and therefore he had to stand on the car and pee out the door) which apparently was pretty fascinating to Andrew!

I hope he’ll remember all three of us with our heads popped out of the moon-roof of the car watching the skies and how special it was.

I really do hope to have a (Planned) mini-vacation going North maybe up the North Shore of Lake Superior, staying in a hotel – so we don’t have to go too far in the middle of the night to see the show. With all these solar flares going on this year, now is the best time to watch!

I’m not sure that we would really even have to go that far North as the lights that were supposed to happen last night/this morning were supposedly going to be visible as far south as Illinois.  Just living in the cities creates issues for us being able to see anything good. 

Have you ever seen the Northern Lights? 


  1. I have never seen them but would like to. I heard on the news that it was expected up your way

  2. I have never seen them but would like to. I heard on the news that it was expected up your way. What a disappointment. Cute muddy field story though.

  3. I have never seen one of those. I hope some we’ll be able to go see one. Beautiful picture! Hope you guys had fun!

  4. This is on my bucket list. So beautiful!

  5. Erin Rok says:

    That is so beautiful, I wish I could have seen it.

  6. Jennifer L says:

    So beautiful! I have seen the Northern Lights once, when I was younger – but I am definitely going to make sure I see them again (and my daughter gets to as well!)

  7. Carolyn Ann Colley (Griffith, Smith) says:

    I have never seen the Northern Lights, my husband has, he said it is beautiful. Hope you had a great trip.

  8. No, I haven’t and I’m embarrassed to say I don’t recall ever hearing about them. Maybe because I am from NY? It sure sounds like a beautiful site to see though.
    Gladys P

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