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Fairbanks, Alaska Pano showing ice fog | by soleclin22
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Fairbanks, Alaska Pano showing ice fog

Fairbanks at –50 degrees below zero (-42.778 C) - January 4, 2009



Starting at the far left, the double plume of exhaust is the University of Alaska power plant. The U. of A. is partially hidden by a layer of ice fog but the West Ridge extension was clear. (It is off the edge of this photo.) The two plumes are created by the power plant and by the water-cooling tower of the plant. The column of exhaust toward the right in this picture is the Fairbanks Aurora Power Plant. This power plant will be known by many as MUS, (Municipal Utility System). It was purchased by Golden Valley Electric Association, (GVEA), which now supplies all the power for the Fairbanks area except the U. of A., Fort Wainwright and Eielson AFB. GVEA's main power station is a coal-fired plant 113 miles southwest of Fairbanks. Closer to the center of the picture is the Fort Wainwright power plant. Now for the difficult one to see. To the right of the center of the photo there is a popular tree, without leaves, tall enough to reach into the sky. Right next to it is what looks like a dead stick. Right at the top of that stick you can see 3, maybe 4, plumes of exhaust. Only two faint ones in the center are actual exhaust columns. The other two are cleared areas and roads of the Army's Fort Wainwright. The two plumes are the exhaust from the two oil refineries located at North Pole.

A bit farther to the right one can make out the plume of exhaust from the Eielson Air Force Station. (You might have to zoom this photo up some, and possibly a combination of the JPEG compression, reduced size and individual computers, it might not be very visible.)

The U. of A. and Fairbanks Aurora are coal-fired plants. The two military bases are oil-fired plants. GVEA also uses oil-fired generators at North Pole during peak demand periods. (And when they do we see an extra oil surcharge statement on our bills.)


This picture was taken using a Canon EOS 30D camera fitted with a Canon 18-55mm lens. It was tripod mounted and I took two pictures. I then used a Canon Stitch program on my computer to stitch the two pictures together.


Dickie Byrd, Fairbanks Alaska

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Taken on January 11, 2009