Insomnia has its benefits

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  • A Perseid meteor burns across the sky as the northern lights put on a show outside Columbia Falls early Monday morning. (Jeremy Weber photo)

  • 1

    A meteor blazes across the sky while the northern lights glow on the horizon Monday morning. (Jeremy Weber photo)

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    The aurora begins to light up the mountains north of Columbia Falls around 2:30 a.m. Monday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

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    The aurora burns a bright green over Columbia Falls Monday morning. (Jeremy Weber photo)

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    The aurora burns green and purple early Monday morning. (Jeremy Weber photo)

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    The aurora activity as it begins to strenghten early Monday morning. (Jeremy Weber photo)

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    The view northwest towards Whitefish Mountain at the height of the aurora activity early Monday morning. (Jeremy Weber photo)

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    The Northern lights were the strongest they have been in many months above Columbia Falls early Monday morning. (Jeremy Weber photo)

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    The northern lights put on a show in the early hours of Monday morning. (Jeremy Weber photo)

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    The aurora activity begins to die down around 3:30 a.m. Monday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

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    The northen lights were visible in the skies above Columbia Falls Monday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

  • A Perseid meteor burns across the sky as the northern lights put on a show outside Columbia Falls early Monday morning. (Jeremy Weber photo)

  • 1

    A meteor blazes across the sky while the northern lights glow on the horizon Monday morning. (Jeremy Weber photo)

  • 2

    The aurora begins to light up the mountains north of Columbia Falls around 2:30 a.m. Monday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

  • 3

    The aurora burns a bright green over Columbia Falls Monday morning. (Jeremy Weber photo)

  • 4

    The aurora burns green and purple early Monday morning. (Jeremy Weber photo)

  • 5

    The aurora activity as it begins to strenghten early Monday morning. (Jeremy Weber photo)

  • 6

    The view northwest towards Whitefish Mountain at the height of the aurora activity early Monday morning. (Jeremy Weber photo)

  • 7

    The Northern lights were the strongest they have been in many months above Columbia Falls early Monday morning. (Jeremy Weber photo)

  • 8

    The northern lights put on a show in the early hours of Monday morning. (Jeremy Weber photo)

  • 9

    The aurora activity begins to die down around 3:30 a.m. Monday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

  • 10

    The northen lights were visible in the skies above Columbia Falls Monday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

Sleeping has not always come easy to me. Sure, my insomnia means some long, tedious days of exhaustion sometimes, but it also means that sometimes I get to see some amazing things while the rest of the world is sleeping.

Such was the case early Monday morning as Mother Nature decided to combine two of my favorite cosmic spectacles, a meteor shower and the northern lights.

We have been seeing an increased number of meteors over the past week or so thanks to the Delta Aquariid shower peaking and the start of the August Perseids, but getting to see the aurora borealis always takes a little luck.

Sure, the The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center had issued a minor aurora storm watch for Sunday night/Monday morning, but that doesnít always mean we will get a good show here in Montana. In fact, it rarely means we get a good show.

Not sleeping paid off in a big way around 3 a.m. Monday morning, though, as the northen sky lit up with dancing columns of ghostly light with the occasional Perseid fireball burning its way across the heavens. Sure, my fiance didnít want to get out of bed and make the trip to the top of the hill to see the show, but that wasnít going to stop me.

The sky glowed the rest of the evening, but the good stuff came for about 30 minutes before the lights died back down a bit. All-in-all, a show well worth the weary eyes and headache of the next morning. It was a good show, but I am ready for the next one.

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