Northern Lights – My Bucket List

There’s an Inuit belief that the Northern Lights are the souls of the dead playing soccer in the sky.  If I’m lucky, I’ll cheer for them one day. And if I’m luckier, it will be from the sidelines.

Happy #FunFriday as WomanScape shares some pretty magnetic photos to inspire your weekend ahead. Maybe you already have “see the Northern Lights” on your bucket list.  I know I do.  I’ve been infatuated with their surreal beauty and haunting colors for a long time.  For me, they are one part extraterrestrial looking and another part visual feast.

With a little luck, I’m hoping to see these Polar Lights in person when my all-women expedition of civilians and veterans heads to the Arctic region of Baffin Island on April 1, 2019.  I’m part of a special mission headed to Nanuvut, Canada, to raise funds and awareness for military veterans, so sharing this moment of positive energy and peaceful wonder with them would be nothing short of amazing.

The simple science behind the Arctic and Antarctic lights that appear in the sky near the North and South Poles can be explained as charged particles that are carried by solar wind into a magnetic atmosphere.

When their energy is lost and the particles are ionized, various colors and complexities of light are emitted.

With a little luck, I’ll see them on my walk through the southern Baffin Mountains, as I trek 100 km across the Akshayuk Pass.  The pass is an ancient riverbed formed by passing glaciers.

Hopefully, my feet will stay warm in my snowshoes as I look upwards to some of the tallest granite rock formations in the world.  They watch over the pass inside the Auyittuq National Park, in an area named for the Inuktitut word Auyittuq which means “the land that never melts.”

Here, luck plays no role in nature’s phenomena. I’ve dreamed about seeing this magic dance in the sky for as long as I can remember and women like Marie Curie, Émilie Du Châtelet, and Frances Arnold have been about the business of explaining it as trailblazers in science.

Their scientific studies help explain light and their research has paved the way for its applications in medicine, science, and industry.  Marie’s x-ray machines lit up the battlefields of WWI and Émilie’s research shaped the research for understanding gravity and the earth’s elements.  Frances is still at work exploring the evolution of nature and applied physics applications.

As we head into the holiday season and appreciate life and the light of the season, I’m grateful to our scientists.

Light will continue to take center stage all month long on WomanScape, mirroring the inner joy that we celebrate across the world and in many faiths.

So of course, why not offer a few lighting tips for capturing the season in its best light.  Whether you’re clicking your phone camera or using hardcore camera equipment to capture those special moments over the holidays, here are a few things from BH Photo Video to keep in mind:

  1. Use low light when taking pics at night, a tripod to prevent shaking and the slowest possible shutter release speed;
  2. Plan your shots and include natural light just before the sun goes down so you can include more of the surroundings to create a more interesting backdrop;
  3. Turn the flash off – it won’t help you to see other objects outside in the dark;
  4. Consider shooting in automatic white balance mode so the lighting is optimized; and
  5. Be creative and use a different lens to have fun.  You can also use a red piece of tissue paper in red or green over the camera lens to create an interesting effect.

Happy snapping and here’s to finding #FunFridays and #FunWays to “lighten” the load over the holiday.

Rose McInerney

Author Rose McInerney

Rose combines her love of all things artfully-designed to connect women to a shared community of learning and a richer, more fulfilled self. As a passionate storyteller, published writer, and international traveler, Rose believes women can build a better world through powerful storytelling.

More posts by Rose McInerney

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