By Aaron Haislip
Aurora Borealis In northern latitudes the effect is known as the Aurora Borealis named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for the north wind Boreas. It was named by Pierre Gassendi in 1621. The Northern lights are curtains of colored light in the upper atmosphere, caused by magnetic disturbances from the sun colliding with atoms. The Northern Lights give off colors that include red, green, blue, and violet, and a single display can last 10 to 15 minutes. The Northern Lights can be seen to some extent anywhere above 60 degrees north latitude. At 65 degrees, Fairbanks is within the so-called “aurora oval,” the area where Northern Lights occur most often and are brightest. In fact, the Fairbanks Visitors Bureau says you have an 80 percent chance of seeing them if you stay there for three days. What’s the best time to see the Northern Lights? September 22 or March 22,on a new moon night, very late at night or early in the morning.
The brown bear is also known as the
grizzly. The brown bear is omnivorous. It eats meat, berries and also the salmon in the salmon run. They fatten up on calories from their food, and hibernate all winter.
Char The Char is both a fresh water and a salt water fish. No other fish can live as far north as the Char. The Char is closely related to the Trout and Salmon. The Char can weigh up to 60 pounds.
Dog Mushing Dog Mushing is the state sport of Alaska. The 1,000 mile Yukon Quest international sled dog race is the biggest long distance race of the year in Fairbanks.
The Exxon Valdez is a oil spill that occurred in Prince William Sound on March 24, 1989. The Exxon Valdez, an oil tanker was on itâ€™s way to Long Beach, California, when it struck Prince William Soundâ€™s Bligh Reef and spilled 260,000 to 750,000 barrels of oil. It is considered to be one of the most devastating human caused environmental disasters.
The Forget-Me-Not is the state flower of Alaska. The Forget-Me-Not is mostly blue. This flower is usually seen in a bunch, and is most common in high grounds. In folklore it said that when God was naming all plants, a tiny unnamed one cried out “Forget-Me-Not O Lord!” God replied, “That shall be your name.”
Gary Paulsen Gary Paulsen is a famous book author. His most known books are Hatchet, Tracker, Wood Song, and The Island. I included Gary Paulsen because he is one of my favorite authors and because many of his books are written about the wilderness of Alaska.
Huskies The huskies are the state dog of Alaska. The huskies can be many colors. They are usually black and white with thick fur to protect them from the harsh winter. They also have different colored eyes, known as heterochromia, and the most common color is brown and light blue. They make great pets! ď Ź
The Inuit people are Eskimos. Eskimos are the Indians of Alaska. The Eskimos do not like to be called Eskimos. They like to be called Native Americans. The term Eskimo comes from a Native American word that may have meant ‘to eat raw meat’. They prefer the name Inuit which means ‘the people’.
Juneau ď Ź
Juneau is the state capital of Alaska. This city is only reached by sea or air. Cars and trucks are transported to Juneau by barge or ferry. There are fewer than 200 miles of paved roads, and there are more vehicles than people. You can also get out of this city by dogsleds and snow mobiles.
King Salmon The King Salmon is the state fish. The King Salmon is located on the north bank of the Naknek River on the Alaska Peninsula about 15 miles upriver from Naknek near Naknek Lake.
Lurks The lurk is the rarest fish in Alaska. The fish can grow to be up to 20 feet long. They spawn during the summer. This fish lives in schools, and can take down a Great White Shark.
The Moose is Alaska’s state land mammal. The moose is not a carnivore, it eats only berry’s and leaves. It is very territorial over a den. The moose can grow up to be eight feet.
Nome Nome is where the people were killed of diphtheria. That is why they have â€œThe Race Against Deathâ€?. People had to go to Anchorage to pick up medicine. They had to race to get back to Nome before the medicine froze.
Orca Orcinus orca, or better known as “The Killer Whale”. The orca is the state of Alaska’s marine mammal. The orca is a member of the dolphin family. It can grow up to 33 feet. It is sometimes called “the wolf of the sea”, because its behavior is similar to wolves.
Polar bear ď Ź
The polar bear can be found in Alaska. The polar bear shares the title of the largest land carnivore with the Kodiak bear. It can grow up to be 8 feet on itâ€™s hind legs.
Qiviut It is the fur of the Musk Ox, which is commonly known as the â€œOoningmakâ€?. It is the warmest fur in the world, and it is used for knitting and making parkas.
Ravens ď Ź
The Alaskan raven is the fastest bird in Alaska. It is the largest member of the crow family. These birds can grow up to 2 feet long. The Raven is the most common bird in Alaska.
Salmon shark ď Ź
The salmon shark competes in the salmon run. The salmon shark has to consume 23 pounds of food each day. It can grow up to be 10 feet.
Togo ď Ź
Togo was a sled dog that led the team on a serum delivery during the diphtheria epidemic of 1925. Iditarod fans say that Togo led the team on the hardest part of the relay, across Norton Sound. When the governor of Alaska added more sled teams Togo was overlooked and Balto got most of the credit.
Ulu A ulu is a u-shaped knife, it has a handle and a semi-circular blade. They come in many different sizes and shapes. The first were made of slate and bone. Ulus are used for many things, such as skinning, fleshing hides, cutting meat, filleting fish, eating, and sewing. Some tribes still use them in their kitchens to slice vegetables, and even pizza!
Valdez ď Ź
Valdez is a fishing port for sport and commercial fishing. The city is one of the most important ports in Alaska. Freight and oil move through this port to the interior of the state and outside of Alaska. In 1989 the Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred after the tanker left the port of Valdez, which killed most of the marine life in the surrounding area.
Wolf Alaska is the home to the largest population of grey wolves in the United States. People from all over the world come to Alaska to see the wild wolves. Wolves are still hunted and killed for their pelts and because they are considered a pest. Alaska is trying to help manage and save the wild wolves.
X-back The x-back is a harness used on dogs to pull sleds or freight. It is called an x-back because the straps form an â€˜Xâ€™ on the back of the dog. This type is used more often than others because of comfort and control of the dog.
Yukon river The Yukon river is the biggest river in Alaska. It is frozen half of the year. It is 22 feet deep. The Yukon river was crossed by last years Iditarod race.
Zodiac ď Ź
A Zodiac is the modern boat of Alaska. A zodiac is used mostly up north in Alaska. A zodiac is used for getting around. These boats are typically made out of rubber.