Across North America and Europe, February has been kind to Aurora watchers.
Europe was the latest favored with action as the Aurora was active across Scotland, Iceland, Ireland, Norway and deep into the UK. Earlier in the month, the US and Canada were privileged with shows.
First time Aurora watcher Ryan Goolevitch of Canada was delighted with what he saw: "Fantastic. Finally got to see them with my own eyes."
Below are just a sample of the great shots shared with Soft Serve News by talented photographers.
"Despite fog, freezing rain, clouds, and a bright moon I kept hopeful and waited it out... I was able to get some amazing shots. What a fantastic night watching Auroras, listening to coyotes yipping and howling in the UP of MI...it doesn't get much better than this!"
"Once I heard that the aurora was poppin' last night at a Kp6+ I wanted to at least try to find an opening in the skies. I wouldn't have if I hadn't seen some stars above my house briefly just after dark. And so I called Darlene and asked if she was up for a midnight ride.
We drove up Mount Hood in the snow. It was falling the whole way up to Government Camp so we decided to cross over Barlow Pass to White River. We got there and it was a blizzard. We sat there for a few minutes to decide if we were either going back or if we were going to keep moving east until we find a break in the sky. We decided to head east.
We crossed over into the sage brush country on the east side of the Cascade Mountains. The skies broke up and shown some stars between some big clouds, but it stopped snowing for the time being. I had to find a place to shoot. I decided to turn in toward Simnasho to a could big fields with an unobstructed view of the north sky. We pulled up and set up.
I hadn't thought about the moon being out last night. It was bright and washed out the sky, stars and any potential aurora was dimmed. I took a test shot and got some color, but nothing to brag about. In time we started to see columns of light with our bare eyes. For a few minutes the sky on the horizon danced and we were about to get a couple acceptable shots. If the moon had not have been out the sky would have been a blaze with light.
Just as it was dimming the clouds moved in over us and the snow started falling hard. We packed up our gear and headed back home. As we hit Highway 26 it became a whiteout. Trucks were pulling over because they couldn't see the road. We just trudged along until the snow tapered off an we were able to gain more momentum.
This shot may not be the most epic Northern Lights shot in the world, but it will always bring back the memory of the adventure that Darlene and I had last night. We had fun!" -- Gary Randall
"I've been waiting for a few months now to get a decent panorama of the Lyngen Alps with auroras.
Last night the predictions finally came through and the expected CME hit the atmosphere and made a spectacular show.
For some strange reason while standing alone at Spåkenes I got afraid... afraid that I might miss the aurora. It was a good feeling to experience that kind of adrenaline rush." -- Tor-Ivar Næss
"While out in the town doing homework I got this notification of a Northern Lights show that came out of nowhere. I dropped everything I was doing to check it out. I knew after October 2nd 2013 I had wanted to capture this amazing event with my new gear. I threw my winter gear on and headed north. The light pollution faded into the distance and the lights began to appear. I headed to my favorite spot on Tainter Lake just north of Menomonie, Wisconsin. While setting up I watched the light dance in the sky before my eyes. A rush of adrenaline, excitement, and raw emotion rushed through. I knew I was going to capture something so incredible. I knew I was in the moment that I live for, to be in the right place at the right time to capture something so incredibly beautiful to share with the world. I took my first exposure and was blown away. I watched the lights dance as I asked myself how far are you willing to push yourself, how committed are you, and how much are you willing to sacrifice? With such a rare opportunity I was fully committed, I was willing to sacrifice almost anything for this moment, and I was willing to push myself to the edge. I stayed up until 4 am, even though I knew I had responsibilities at 8 am the next day. I knew what I was experiencing and capturing was something that made it all worthwhile. If you have never seen the lights, it is something you must experience. Watching them dance amongst the heavens is something that stirs a raw awe inspiring sensation inside you."
-- Adam Dorn
From Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada by Jason Miller - Date Night Iqaluit, Nunavut Style!
"Kids asleep by 8 PM.
Baby Sitter in place.
Clothing and Parkas layered on.
2 minute drive.
25 minute hike in the Dark Arctic Tundra at -31c to an Iqaluit Landmark.
90 minute Awesome Show of the Northern Lights, Feb. 19th.
PRICELESS!!!!!" -- Jason Miller
"Image from the Shetland Islands taken around 10pm. This image just captures a small veil of the huge pulsating corona that was above us, the sky was alive with greens, whites and reds, visible in whatever direction you looked. It lasted for a couple of hours. Amazing night." -- Carina Newell