LeRoy Zimmerman has contributed some truly breathtaking photography
to the Solar Terrestrial Dispatch galleries. You will find some examples below.
I've included his own beautiful prose with each picture.  You may see more of
his work at:


Harbor Lights

Seward, Alaska, on the evening of October 9th, 2002. The tide had pulled back, and the city appeared to sleep. But in that stillness there was something wonderful going on. In the midnight sky there was light in motion as silent as the blackness around me. Skimming across the night was the energy of our star, and I was transfixed. It is humbling to know there is something greater to this world than we will ever be.

Painting the Wind

Painting the wind, a phrase given to me by one of my customers who had just seen my panoramic aurora show at my theater, The Aurorium, here in Fairbanks, Alaska. After seeing my panoramic aurora concert, my 'PhotoSymphony', she came up with tears in her eyes, and commented that watching the changing auroral light performed to symphonies was just as if someone had 'painted the wind'. So the phrase has stuck with me for all these years. It seems somewhat appropriate for what happens in the darkness on those magical nights.

Sky Runner

Most of the time the auroras are not the mind bending reds, but their sky filling magic is a sight to behold none the less. A simple evening, with auroras raging across the sky, and the bright green of oxygen is traced across the darkness by the invisible fingers of the magnetic field.


Sometimes the auroras shout, and other times they whisper. But the song they sing to the sky is a chorus like none other. There it is for a moment, click, now it is gone. But it has been filmed, and that moment can be shared and shown to others.

Moon Dance

The lake was frozen, the surface pebbled like the peel of an orange, and a fox had just trotted across the thin ice. But the ice was thick enough to support the entire light of the moon without breaking. The aurora didn't seem to notice either one as it danced and swayed across the moonlit sky. If I listened closely, I thought I heard the music of that night. Perhaps I can play it back for you with my camera.


The evening of March 30, 2001. Looking straight up at the inner edge of the aurora oval. The 'eyewall' of the aurora storm. To the north at the top of the image the sky was completely barren of any auroral light, and was only filled with stars all the way out to the horizon. To the south at the lower part of the image the sky was red as far to the south as the eye could see. The sky was filled with passion that night, the incredible urge to Be. The moon lit the clouds, the aurora lit the heavens, while the stars tried desperately to be noticed at all. All nature seemed to pour from the sky, and the intoxication was almost more than one could bear. Drove home a few hours later in the falling snow, and I felt as though I was floating just as were the down like flakes of ice that fell from the darkness of the sky

  Make A Wish


"When I saw the flames of light licking against the night sky, it reminded me of a birthday. A Birth Day, the day when we enter this awesome dimension of life. Wonders surround us every day and night if we would only notice. We are told we that we can 'Make a wish' if the candles can be blown out in a single breath, but it is fortunate that some of those flames can never be extinguished in a thousand breaths, no matter how hard we may try. There is a light that will continue to shine far beyond the world we can see from here. Maybe looking at this night wonder can be a reminder to us that there is so much more to this world than we could ever know. Some of us surely realize that to be true, more than we ever dare say. If you are waiting to see a miracle, you only have to open your eyes. We are already there."


Back to
the Aurora

Background music: "Canon in D", Pachelbel

This page is dedicated to my dear friend LeRoy Zimmerman, 1940 - 2015. May your spirit dance forever among the Lights you loved so well.

Copyright 1999 - 2017.
This page updated 27 November 2017.