The Sky on Fire with Northern Lights

At last … a good display of northern lights towering up the sky.

The evening of Tuesday, September 4 provided the best aurora display I’ve seen in recent years. It was fairly bright and reached up to the zenith and beyond into the south. Colours were green, with just a hint of high-altitude red visible to the naked eye. The camera picks up the colours of an aurora better than the eye can see.

I shot this aurora from my rural backyard. The display came up quite quickly over 10 to 15 minutes starting about 11 p.m., and, as usual, started as an arc across the northeast then rose higher to cover all the northern sky up to the zenith, as shown in this horizon-to-zenith image. The light from the waning gibbous Moon just off camera to the right illuminated the foreground. The show was short-lived. By 12:30 a.m. the auroral curtains had faded into obscurity.

– Alan, September 4, 2012


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