The Stars: 13 June – 10 July 2024

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This past May, the internet was abuzz with talk of powerful solar flares resulting in the Northern Lights seen as far south as Florida. 

With viewing typically confined to the Arctic Circle region, the Aurora Borealis are most often seen in places like Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Finland, and Greenland. Despite having to view the recent light show through a camera lens in order to truly see the vibrancy of the pink and green hues, it still offered an ethereal experience. While today we know that the lights are caused by disturbances on the sun, long-ago cultures viewed them in a more spiritual or mythological sense.

LIGHT SHOW: Some folks felt left in the dark during the recent Aurora Borealis appearance, with many asking, “How did I miss that?” The sensitive lenses of most smart phones were able to pick up the more vibrant shades that the naked eye could not, such as this shot of the lights over Prosser Hill in Truckee. Photo by Juliana Demarest/Moonshine Ink

Many indigenous peoples in the Arctic region believed the lights were ancestral spirits, while others saw them as a pathway between the here and beyond or even an omen of good luck. The Vikings believed the lights meant their god Odin had sent female warriors known as Valkyries to retrieve the souls of fallen warriors and take them to Odin’s hall Valhalla, according to space.com. One thing is for certain, the brilliance of the Aurora Borealis have fascinated the imaginations of people for countless generations, and they will likely continue to do so as long as they dance in the nighttime sky.

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  • Juliana Demarest

    Juliana Demarest is a Jersey girl with ink in her blood. She fell in love with print journalism at a young age in the '80s when her Uncle Tony would take her to "work" at his weekly paper. In 1997, she co-founded a weekly newspaper in North Jersey. One day, she went to photograph a local farmer for a news story. She ended up marrying him and leaving journalism to become a farmer's wife. In 2010, they packed up their two children and headed to Truckee in pursuit of the outdoor life. She didn't realize just how much she missed journalism until she joined Moonshine in 2018 after taking time off to be mom. Connect with Juliana juliana@moonshineink.com

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