Calumet man makes money chasing Northern Lights

Courtesy: Keweenaw Night Photography

HOUGHTON — The Upper Peninsula is one of the few places on earth where the Northern Lights are frequently visible. One Calumet man has made a business out of chasing down the celestial phenomenon.

“I’ve spent a lot of late nights,” said Jeremy Rowe, the owner and photographer for Keweenaw Night Photography. “A lot of late nights of driving many miles at 3 a.m. and finding out there is nothing out there.”

For the past thirteen years, Rowe has been the storm chaser of the Northern Lights. He spends most of his time between Eagle Harbor and Copper Harbor waiting for snowless nights when he can get a clear view of the skies.

Northern Lights occur when charged particles from the sun strike atoms in earth’s atmosphere, they cause electrons in the atoms to move to a higher-energy state. When the electrons drop back to a lower energy state, they release light. This process creates the beautiful aurora borealis, or Northern Lights.

He says despite news hype, the occurrence is always around, especially away from big cities. Rowe makes metal prints like these that sell for upwards of $200 dollars, and every year around this time he puts out a calendar with a his years work. The items are sold at places like Cross Country Sports in Calumet as well as several stores in Houghton.