WATCH: Airplane passenger records Northern Lights from window seat | Inquirer Technology

WATCH: Airplane passenger records Northern Lights from window seat

/ 06:11 PM February 06, 2017

Are you the kind of traveler who prefers to take the window seat in a plane, and would rather see the majesty of the sky, instead of browsing through movie picks from your seat’s console? If yes, be on the lookout should you be flying across Canada – chances are you’ll be seeing the Northern Lights for some one-of-a-kind in-flight entertainment.


That was exactly what filmmaker, photographer and adventurer Nathan Starzynski had when he took his Air Canada flight from southern Alberta to Winnipeg in Canada’s Manitoba province.


“Soaring across Canada, face pressed against the window, watching the greatest in-flight entertainment I’ve ever seen, while the sounds of the best flying album to ever be conceived fill my ears,” said Starzynski in his Instagram post four days ago, referring to the Northern Lights show, and French electronica duo Air’s album Moon Safari, to whose song “All I Need” he set the video to.

The video of the Northern Lights he captured showed the natural phenomenon in its flashing green glory across the nighttime sky. The emerald hues “[cover] from about southern Alberta to Thunder Bay, the bright city [below] is Winnipeg,” said Starzynski, in response to an Instagram query on where exactly he saw the lights.

Replying further to questions on Reddit, Starzynski said that the plane was at an altitude of 36,000 feet (almost 11,000 meters) when he shot the video.

According to a report by the Russian global news site RT, the filmmaker actually had an idea of the spectacle he was about to witness shortly before the flight.

“In the [lead-up] to a trip home, I had been watching the aurora (borealis) forecast, and knew that there was supposed to be a G1 magnetic storm the night of my flight,” the report quoted Starznyski as saying. “The day before leaving, I reserved a [north-facing] window seat at the rear of the plane accordingly.”

The Northern Lights, commonly called aurora borealis, is an astronomical phenomenon made up of shafts of colored light visible in the night sky. Its equivalent in the southern hemisphere is the Southern Lights, or aurora australis.


Both the Northern and Southern Lights can be frequently witnessed at higher latitudes, in places close to the poles, such as Canada, Alaska and Antarctica in the case of the Northern Lights. Although these lights are present even during daytime, they can only be seen by the naked eye when it is dark.

The patterns and colors occur “from the types of ions or atoms being energized as they collide with the atmosphere and are affected by lines of magnetic force,” according to the US Library of Congress. “Displays may take many forms, including rippling curtains, pulsating globs, traveling pulses or steady glows. Altitude affects the colors.”

RT said that Starzynski’s post has garnered over 1 million views since posting, and has had at least 16,000 shares.

Starzynski, as reported by RT, further described his experience as like “flying through dreams.”  Jen Balboa


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TOPICS: aurora borealis, Facebook, Instagram, natural phenomenon, Northern Lights, Viral
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