Big Dipper Over the Badlands

The Big Dipper swings low over the Badlands of Dinosaur Provincial Park, with an aurora added for good measure.

This another shot from my very productive night last Sunday out at Dinosaur Park, 100 km east of me. Here the curtains of aurora that made the news that evening shimmer below the iconic seven stars of the Big Dipper, now low in the northern sky on autumn evenings.

Light from the Full Moon provides the illumination. People wonder how we astrophotographers can take pictures of the stars in the daytime. We don’t. We take them at night, letting the Moon light the scene. Its light is just reflected sunlight, so a long enough exposure (and in this case it was only 8 seconds) records the landscape looking as if it were daytime, complete with blue sky, but with stars – and this night an aurora – in the sky.

– Alan, October 2, 2012 / © 2012 Alan Dyer


Aurora Highway

Traffic seems to drive off into the Northern Lights, on a highway to heaven.

On the way home Sunday night the aurora exploded again in a burst of brilliance. I pulled over by the side of the road and grabbed some shots. I’m looking north here, with the Big Dipper also in the frame. For this shot I layered in two exposures for the ground to get a more complete sweep of the taillights. But the sky is from a single frame.

This was the widely-seen aurora of September 30, 2012. This scene of mad motion down the highway contrasts with the quiet solitude of the badlands landscape of the previous post.

– Alan, October 1, 2012 / © 2012 Alan Dyer


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