(NECN: Jack Thurston, Colchester, Vt.) - The sky over Malletts Bay in Colchester, Vt. was aglow with greens, reds, oranges, and pinks Tuesday night. The dancing explosions of rarely-seen colors were thanks to the aurora borealis, or Northern Lights. Dan Russell and Charles Baldridge, friends and coworkers at the Winooski digital marketing company MyWebGrocer, captured several on camera and shared them with New England Cable News.
"You have to be there in person," Russell said, describing how even excellent photos cannot capture the feeling of experiencing the phenomenon. "Until you really see it, you can't grasp what's happening. It's so cool."
Russell and Baldridge said they follow tweets and government sites that specialize in space forecasts to find times when the natural display may be visible. They promised NECN the shots they provided are authentic, capturing moments when highly-energized particles from a solar storm caused gases in the upper atmosphere to glow.
"It's awe-inspiring. It's really amazing to see the lights," Baldridge said.
The prime reason the guys did so well taking their photos was probably because Malletts Bay has very little light pollution from big buildings or highways. Because of that, the sky in this part of Vermont, as well as in most rural parts of northern New England, appears darker than it does in big cities, enabling the glow to show up more vividly.
"It was a crystal-clear night. It was a beautiful night," Baldridge added. "You can't ask for better viewing conditions than we had last night."
Researchers have said the displays are cyclical, and we're now at a peak period for these natural fireworks in the north sky, according to the website of the Northern Lights Centre in Canada.
The buddies who were lucky enough to glimpse this in person, and share the sights with those of us who weren't, said if you ever find yourself underneath the aurora borealis, don't spend the entire time glued to a camera's viewfinder. Instead, people should be sure to also enjoy the sky-wide show fully with their eyes and hearts.
"I think those memories are more important to yourself than what you share with the world [through photos]," Russell said. "But it's also nice to be able to share that, so I'm glad I had a camera!"
Russell and Baldridge said they soon hope to capture more memories, and more photos, with other trips outdoors, if conditions are right.