August 29, 2002
The photo above shows a display of the aurora borealis over the Alaska pipeline, taken last November 18, 2001 at 10:30 p.m. (local time). This area of the pipeline is near Milne Point, which is approximately 45 minutes (by motorized vehicle) from Prudo Bay and only about 5 miles (8 km) or so from the Arctic Ocean. The picture provides a nice contrast between the diffuse aurora, one of Nature's most beautiful spectacles, and the linear track of piping. Interestingly. the same magnetic fields responsible for the these northern lights, build up a charge in the pipeline that has to be discharged in order to reduce the corrosion it causes to the metal.