This is why you want a window seat

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I’ve seen auroras on red-eyes between the U.S. and Europe before. This one over Lake Superior, for example, on a July night in 2007. And this one over Greenland in September 2012. But both of those were fairly dim. Sunday night’s red-eye was different. This one was a real show. And I almost missed it.

First, my window seat had no window. It was 33A on a United 777: an exit row, with lots of legroom, but a wall where other seats have a window. But I got a corner of the window behind me if I leaned back. The girl sitting there shut the window to block out the sun earlier in the flight, but now it was dark, so I opened the window and saw this: a green curtain of light over the wing. So I got my camera, and wedged it into the narrow space at the top right corner of the window, where I could get a clean shot. And then I shot away.

All the times on the shots are Pacific US time, but the local time here — looking north across Hudson Bay, from northern Quebec — were Eastern, or flanking midnight.

None of the shots in the set have been processed in any way. Later, when I have time, I’ll add a few more, and edit them to bring out what the naked eye saw: the best reason to have a window seat on the polar side of a red-eye flight.



3 responses to “This is why you want a window seat”

  1. I love the auroras, and especially I found them when i visited us. This blog reminds me of some good times. Thanks for posting.

  2. That last picture is so cool! even, like an alien spaceship is about to burst out of the sky. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. I fly this route on a regular basis, however because I am a working crew member I don’t get much time to see these beautiful and amazing sights! Thank you for sharing these, they are absolutely phenomenal!

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