“Tonight we have all been out to witness a fine display of the aurora. This is the first really bright one we have seen and it is indeed a wonderful sight. At first it looks not unlike clouds lit up by the light of the moon, or even the glow one that one sees over a large town in misty weather, but as there is neither moon nor town knocking around here, one soon reconciles oneself to the idea that the bright parts of the sky are actually producing their own light.

“As it develops, it seems to take up the form of a wide band across the sky like a very wide but flattened rainbow. After this a second and even a third band appear concentric to the first. All the while the glow is a greenish white, similar to the fluorescence in any X-ray tube. Later the arcs begin to form what looks like hanging curtains of glowing light and these change their shape at times so rapidly that it gives the appearance of waving curtains. It is very wonderful indeed. It quite surpasses one’s expectations.”

— Thomas Orde-Lees

About Ernest Shackleton

Polar Explorer. Leader of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914-1917.
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