2023 Aurora Borealis Wall Calendar

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Cover photo of spiraling aurora for 2023 Aurora Borealis Wall Calendar by Lee Petersen

By request, and for the first time, I’m publishing a dedicated 2023 aurora borealis wall calendar. My regular Alaska Wall Calendar is also still available, but I’ve had a lot of people asking if I would ever make a northern lights calendar as well. So here it is! This one is also 8.5″x11″ and spiral bound and includes US holidays. All the photos, detailed descriptions, and other pertinent info are below. Prints of the photos are also available here.

Northern Lights Bands – January Image

Before a very explosive night, there was this stable band stretching from west to east. The higher altitude reds that can be seen here were nearly imperceptible to the eye but slightly brighter in the camera. This was taken along the Granite Tors Trail at the end of March.

Big Sky – February Image

The northern lights almost completely filled the sky from Murphy Dome. In the bottom-center, you can see the constellation Orion and the Pleiades cluster can be seen in the center-right. This was the brightest I’ve ever seen those high-altitude reds, a color that arises from atomic oxygen. If you want to know more about what causes the different colors, you can check out my article, What Causes the Aurora.

Goldstream Valley Aurora – March Image

Light from homes on the hills in the Goldstream Valley north of Fairbanks, Alaska. This was taken at a pull-off on Ballaine Road that in recent years has become a very popular aurora viewing location. There is a little trail that parallels the tree line where you can also get incredible views and avoid the crowds and the road!


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Aurora and Moon – April Image

Sometimes a bright moon can be a detriment to viewing the aurora. Sometimes the aurora is bright enough that the moon doesn’t even matter! This one was taken from my backyard in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Bright Band – May Image

A bright band of aurora over the Chena River hills from the Angel Rocks to Chena Hot Springs trail. It was a great night of snowshoeing and watching the perfectly clear skies!


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Watching the Aurora on Murphy Dome – June Image

A self-portrait under the northern lights at one of the rock outcroppings on Murphy Dome near Fairbanks, Alaska. This is another spot that has grown drastically in popularity for viewing the aurora. Yet I’ve never seen anyone actually out on the “trails” at night, just clusters of people in the parking lot. There are some fantastic places to watch and photograph the northern lights up there. I have more details in my article Aurora Viewing from Murphy Dome.

Dancing Lights – July Image

I love it when the lights just dance all over. This often happens after an explosive event; the lights aren’t as bright, but they just dance in spots all over the sky. Taken along the Granite Tors Trail near Fairbanks, Alaska.

Spruce Aurora – August Image

Snow-adorned spruce trees under the northern lights near Fairbanks, Alaska.

Ghostly Trees and SkySeptember Image

The weight of the snow was bending all the birch branches. The aurora was bright despite nearly a full moon and reflective snow. It was awesome because I was able to go on a long walk on the trails near my home without a headlamp. It was unbelievably bright out for 11:00 pm on a January evening!

Over the Trees – October Image

Aurora borealis over the trees in the Goldstream Valley hills north of Fairbanks. Nearing the end of summer while the temps are still nice and there are still leaves on the trees.

More Dancing Lights – November Image

Northern lights dance over the Chena River State Recreation Area from Angel Rocks. Taken in late April at 1:16 am, there is still sunlight on the horizon, and it never quite got dark.

Lots of Light – December Image

The aurora borealis dancing in the moonlight over more snow-covered forest.

Spiraling Aurora Borealis – Front Cover

An energetic aurora often leads to really fascinating shapes and patterns in the sky. The majority of the time that we see it from Fairbanks, it’s just part of an oval near the horizon. These kinds of “structures” are absolutely beautiful when they happen and don’t often last for long.

Snowy Spruce Forest Under the Northern Lights – Back Cover

Fairbanks tends not to have much wind in the winter, so the snow really piles up on the spruce trees. It’s wonderful watching the aurora in such stillness and quiet.

I really hope you enjoy the photos, and if you decide to order the calendar, I hope you love it! Thank you so much for your support! All of these photos are also available as prints and wall art here.

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