The Northern Lights!

10.19.2013 – Saturday

A quick post on my ongoing attempts to photograph the sky. On October 8, at about 8:30pm EST I finally had an encounter with the Northern Lights. This all came about partly by chance. I usually check in with 3D Sun – an iOS application. The app is based off of data from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. It is an incredible application. The app usually gives me about a 24-hour warning on solar activity. After that point I pack my gear and wait for an alert from Aurora_Alerts twitter feed, which usually gives a very reliable forecast up to 40 minutes in the future. On October 8th I was in the right place at the right time. I was setting up to capture the Draconids meteor shower from just out the front door of the cabin when I got the alerts.

IMG_1268

I kept checking for Northern Lights but I never actually saw them in person. Upon reviewing my photos I was excited to see a meteor.

IMG_7197 - Version 2

As I went on I was thrilled to see some pinks, reds, purples, and greens fill my camera’s LCD screen.

IMG_7235 - Version 2

Once I downloaded the photos on to my macbook and processed the RAW photos I found few keepers. I managed a meteor and the Northern Lights (and the Milky Way in the background). And actually, I caught a sequence of 7-10 meteors in consecutive frames. I spent quite a bit of time verifying that I photographed a meteor and not an airplane.

IMG_7279 - Version 2

I also updated my continuing work in progress. It’s now on version V. The last sequence has the Northern Lights. The full video is below. Start at 1:55 to skip to the Northern Lights sequence.

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