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Sign of winter? Aurora sightings return to Alaska's Interior

Alaska Dispatch
Northen lights over the North Slope
Ryan Soderlund photo
Northern Lights over Talkeetna Airport, 2-18-12
Photo courtesy Josh Martinez
Aurora timelapse over Valdez April 24, 2012
The Living Alaska Project photo
The northern lights in winter 2012.
Lucie Steiger photo
Northern lights near Cold Foot, Alaska.
Photo courtesy Mike Criss, akphotograph.com
Northen lights over the North Slope 2
Ryan Soderlund photo
Northern Lights over Bethel on January 25, 2012.
Joe "Jojo" Prince photo
The Northern Lights near Cantwell on April 12, 2012.
Courtesy Todd List
The northern lights in winter 2012.
Lucie Steiger photo
Aurora near Cold Foot, Alaska.
Photo courtesy Mike Criss, akphotograph.com
The aurora over North Pole, Alaska.
Photo courtesy Lara Poirrier, Northern Source Images
Aurora borealis over house.
Sam Amato photo
Northern lights dance over Bethel Alaska during the solar storm in January of 2012.
Joe "Jojo" Prince photo
The Northern Lights in Nikiski, AK on March 9, 2012.
Courtesy Leon Richard
The northern lights in winter 2012.
Lucie Steiger photo
A rocket launched from Poker Flats to study the northern lights heads skyward.
Photo courtesy Lara Poirrier, Northern Source Images
Northern lights over the North Slope
Ryan Soderlund photo
Cherry red aurora borealis over the Elliot Highway during the early hours of January 22, 2012.
Lara Poirrier | Northern Source Images
The northern lights dancing over a home in Fairbanks, Alaska, during St. Patrick's Day weekend 2012.
Brandon Lovett photo
Aurora in Eagle River. March, 2012.
Photo courtesy Curtis Bingham
February aurora over North Pole, Alaska.
Photo courtesy Lara Poirrier, Northern Source Images
Northern lights over the North Slope
Ryan Soderlund photo
A red hue to the aurora borealis over the Elliot Highway during the solar flare event of January 2012.
Lara Poirrier | Northern Source Images
A stunning display of the northern lights from Fairbanks, Alaska. March is prime time for aurora viewing, especially during the two weeks around new moon.
Brandon Lovett photo
Northern lights over the Cordova harbor on March 6, 2012.
Photo courtesy Chelsea Haisman
February aurora over North Pole, Alaska.
Photo courtesy Lara Poirrier, Northern Source Images
Northern lights dance over the mountains at Hatcher Pass, Alaska
Sam Amato photo
Traditionally, a good time for viewing and photographing aurora borealis activity is between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. But don't bank on it: during strong solar storms aurora can be seen at all hours once the sky darkens.
Brandon Lovett photo
Aurora in Eagle River. March, 2012.
Photo courtesy Curtis Bingham
Northern Lights outside of Delta Junction on Feb. 18, 2012.
Photo courtesy Andrew Downing
Northern lights over Hatcher Pass in the Mat-Su
Sam Amato photo
Captured from Birch Hill Cemetery in Fairbanks, Alaska, this photo shows that sometimes, no trees or background are needed, the beauty of the northern lights can stand alone.
Brandon Lovett photo
Ursa Major Amongst Aurora. Hatcher Pass, AK March, 9 2012
Photo courtesy Rick Antonio
Aurora outside of Delta Junction on February 18, 2012.
Photo courtesy Andrew Downing
Northern lights over Bethel, Alaska on January 25, 2012
Joe "Jojo" Prince photo
March 20th marks the first day of the spring equinox during which northern lights viewing is at its peak.
Brandon Lovett photo
The northern lights were so beautiful in Anchorage around 3am.
Photo courtesy of Moira C. Choi
Aurora borealis over Healy, Alaska on Feb. 18, 2012
Bob Lype photo
Shot this back in October 2011 at Beluga Lake in Homer about 2am. Have not seen recent activitiy here (during January 2012 solar storms) due to cloud cover and snow.
Steve Young photo
Photographers, it's time to get out your cameras! Prime time for norther lights viewing is during March around the spring equinox. The best time for photographing this wonder is between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. but with the increase in solar activity, you could catch a glimpse of them pretty much whenever it gets dark.
Brandon Lovett photo
March 2012 aurora from Chena Hot Springs Road.
Photo courtesy Thomas Popple
Northern lights dance over Cook Inlet at West Anchorage's Earthquake Park
Frank Keller photo
Aurora borealis dances in Alaska during January 2012 solar storm
Rebekah Cadigan photo
If you need an excuse for a road trip, pack up the camera gear, bundle up the kids and head out beyond the city lights for a glimpse at these amazing displays in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Brandon Lovett photo
The northern lights from Shishmaref on March 6, 2012.
Photo courtesy Ken Stenek
Northern Lights over Talkeetna Airport, 2-18-12
Photo courtesy Josh Martinez
Northern Lights over Talkeetna Airport, 2-18-12
Photo courtesy Josh Martinez
The northern lights came out in North Pole for Valentine's day one day early. Feb 13, 2013
Courtesy Lara Poirrier / Northern Source Images
Shooting the northern lights requires some testing for the novice. It's time to start! If the preview shows up black, do not, repeat, DO NOT, delete. Your camera will capture more than meets the eye.
Brandon Lovett photo
Northern lights during a March 2012 solar storm.
Photo courtesy Sandee Rice
Northern Lights over the Elliot Highway on January 22, 2012
Lara Poirrier | Northern Source Images
Taken up near Chatanika, north of Fairbanks, on Jan. 21, 2012
Sandra Osborne photo
The northern lights came out in North Pole for Valentine's day one day early. Feb 13, 2013
Courtesy Lara Poirrier / Northern Source Images
At times aurora borealis activity comes in spurts. For all you photographers out there braving the cold, hoping to get some good pictures, don't head out or give up after the first show. Instead, consider heading back to your car and warming up.
Brandon Lovett photo
The Anchorage light pollution and moon were no match for this brilliant show!
Photo courtesy Holly Weiss-Racine
Aurora borealis in Goldstream Valley, Alaska, during January 2012 solar storm
Rebekah Cadigan photo
Lara Poirrier | Northern Source Images
The northern lights came out in North Pole for Valentine's day one day early. Feb 13, 2013
Courtesy Lara Poirrier / Northern Source Images
Brilliant green northern lights can be seen from Birch Hill Cemetery in Fairbanks, Alaska. Watching these lights dance across the sky is one of the few events Alaskans have to look forward to during the long, dark, cold months of winter.
Brandon Lovett photo
Northern lights over Palmer on March 8, 2012.
Photo courtesy Thom Swavely
Northern lights over Anchorage
Ryan Soderlund photo
Shot with a 1981 Canon Ae-1 over a 10-minute exposure period at Denali National Park, Alaska on Jan. 17, 2012.
Finney Kimsey photo
The northern lights came out in North Pole for Valentine's day one day early. Feb 13, 2013
Courtesy Lara Poirrier / Northern Source Images
This photo was taken from Fairbanks, Alaska, a popular viewing place for Alaskans and visitors alike to sneak a peak at the lights. In fact, Fairbanks is such a popular location that some hotels offer wake up calls so you won't miss prime viewing time.
Brandon Lovett photo
Northern Lights from Earthquake Park, March 6, 2012.
Photo courtesy Christy Hedrick
Aurora borealis dancing during the early hours of January 22, 2012. As seen from the Elliot Highway.
Lara Poirrier | Northern Source Images
Aurora viewed at Point Woronzof in West Anchorage, dancing over Fire Island in Cook Inlet.
Frank Keller photo
Northern Lights dancing above the Knik River early morning April 25, 2012.
Courtesy Arlen Ayojiak
Taken March 19th, 2012 at 1am in North Pole, Alaska. We had a North Pole Police officer pull over and check on what we were doing out in the middle of the street.
Lara Poirrier | Northern Source Images
March 2012 northern lights.
Photo courtesy Colin Tyler Bogucki
Aurora borealis over Hatcher Pass, Alaska
Sam Amato photo
Northern lights dancing over Palmer, Alaska, on Jan. 24, 2012
Andrea Humphreys photo
Northern Lights dancing above the Knik River early morning April 25, 2012.
Courtesy Arlen Ayojiak
The northern lights in March 2012 at milepost 201 on the Parks Highway.
Tracy Petersen photo
The northern lights and full moon.
Photo courtesy Colin Tyler Bogucki

According to University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute, the aurora borealis is out. Although the Midnight Sun is not quite gone, it's dipping on the horizon, giving northern parts of Alaska a chance to witness the brilliance of the northern lights.

The Facebook page of the Fairbanks-and-North Pole-based group Aurora Borealis Notifications described a "large auroral band" visible from Interior towns around 1:30 a.m. Monday morning. Several photos posted on its page confirmed the sighting.

An image of wispy, green-blue translucent smears against an azure sky near a bright dot of sun is a stark contrast to the lights Alaskans are more familiar with -- deep greens and reds that stand out in winter's peak darkness.

If you're in Alaska and the skies are clear, keep your eyes peeled later this week. According to UAF's forecast for Wednesday and Thursday:

Auroral activity will be low. Weather permitting, low-level displays will be visible overhead from Barrow to Fairbanks and visible low on the northern horizon from as far south as Anchorage and Juneau.

To see pictures from last night's sighting, visit the Aurora Borealis Notification page here and get the latest forecasts from UAF's Geophysical institute, here.