welcome 2012: eyes north for peaking lights

The Northern Lights reach a zenith in 2012, as we enter this latest, and unusually strong, astronomical era of Solar Maximum. So, Aurora Borealis will be more brilliant and intense, more frequent, more vibrant and dramatic than any time in the last decade -— maybe even the last century … NASA scientists have predicted that this current Solar Maximum in 2012 will be the greatest since 1958, where the aurora stunned the people of Mexico by making an appearance on three occasions.

*Yellowknife, NWT, is a hotspot at 62 degrees latitude, since 62 degrees just happens to be directly under a dominant magnetic line of the earth’s magnetic field. Plus, Yellowknife’s night skies are usually clear, with no clouds impeding the spectacular view.

By all accounts, keep your eyes peeled on clear nights no matter the latitude, especially those farther south, for this may be your lucky year!

*UPDATE: Everybody can see the magnificent Aurora Borealis live from Yellowknife {after dusk local time} via this CSA page!

Photo, info courtesy of the Canadian Tourism Commission.

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welcome 2011: new dawn, new paradigm …

‘Polar Bear & Cub’, by Niviaksiak, 1959, and a poignant piece about the artist & his art, via Waddington’s …

‘Untitled Chant’: [haiku url=”http://download940.mediafire.com/vjndi1o3l0ug/odkjzjufznz/Untitled+Chant.mp3″ title=”” graphical=”true”]

From the 1974 film {& based on the book by James Houston}, ‘The White Dawn‘, an Arctic tale, featuring the actors/singers, Akshooyooliak {‘Medicine Lady’} & Lou Gossett …

… Found, including fascinating wee backstory to this beautiful, obscure song, via Corduroy Mountain …’Her song simmers with a spectrum of emotions: sadness, hope, desperation, and resolve.’ …

Also, a clue from this extract from the comment by levinsky9, via the NYT review of said movie:

‘Henry Mancini’s music, based on the song created by an Inuit woman who made it up on request …’

Curious to know what Medicine Lady is singing about … could it be a foretelling, a lamenting … ‘warmest year on record‘ … observations from visiting photographer Ron Wassink in Iqaluit, ‘no one has a memory of the bay as we see it today’ … ‘there is no ice on Frobisher Bay’

… Could it be the Gulf Stream has veered northwest, leaving Britain in a rather more Labradorian / ‘White Dawn’ deep freeze these past few winters …?

… Now there is talk of a ‘polar bear refuge‘ …

… Whatever the reason, it’s unnerving & not ‘in season’, that on this day, 01 January 2011, in Toronto, Canada, it’s a soggy, grey +10C …!