One year later, Alaska is still incredibly beautiful

Northern Lights dance over Alaska on March 12, 2012.

Last March, photographer Tyler Mode of Battle Ground went on a six-day trip to the arctic reaches of Alaska, capturing everything from the Northern Lights to the lonely -- and harrowing -- roads the far northern reaches of the planet.

He had such a great time that he went back again this March, traveling from Fairbanks to Coldfoot to Atigun Pass.

And he wasn't disappointed -- in fact, I think he technically hit for the atmospheric optics cycle.

Not only did he get the familiar auroras (like the photo above) but also captured sundogs and plenty of other arcs:

The sundogs and arcs are caused by ice crystals in the air refracting the sunlight like a prism. And when it's 23 below (as one photo of a thermometer proved), ice crystals are not difficult to find.

You can see plenty more photos from his trip in the link to the photo gallery above, and at his Smugmug account, including his Northern Lights gallery.