Night of the Northern Lights – #3

Aurora with Blue Curtains #2 (May 17-18, 2013)

The memorable night of Northern Lights ended with a final outburst sending blue curtains into the dawn twilight.

This is a frame from May 17-18, taken near the end of my time-lapse sequence, when the aurora kicked up again in intensity and shot towering blue curtains into the northern sky. The pink glow of dawn tinges the northeastern sky, bookending the sequence of 1200 frames and 27 gigabytes of images. Good thing I had a large capacity memory card!

Each shot was 11 seconds at ISO 1600 to try to freeze the moving curtains while still maintaining a good level of exposure.

Here, lights from a passing car at 3 a.m. illuminated the old barn.


As a postscript, I also note that this was my 300th blog post since beginning The Amazing Sky in February 2011. I hope you’ve enjoyed the views of the sky I’ve been able to publish over the last two years.

– Alan, May 18, 2013 / © 2013 Alan Dyer

Night of the Northern Lights – #2

Aurora in Twilight #1 (May 17-18, 2013)

You know you are in for a good night when the aurora appears even before the sky gets dark.

I shot this in the evening twilight, as the curtains of Northern Lights began their dance in the dusk. Light from the quarter Moon also illuminates the scene. It was a mad rush to get the camera set and aimed to begin shooting. I was also looking after another camera that was shooting a dolly-shot time-lapse of the barn.

For this image I used the Canon 60Da and Canon 10-22mm lens at the widest setting. Even that was not enough to take in the whole of the display that was covering the sky.

– Alan, May 18, 2013 / © 2013 Alan Dyer



Night of the Northern Lights – #1

Aurora over Old Barn Looking North #1 (May 17, 2013)

What a night this was, with a display of Northern Lights dancing across the sky as soon as it got dark. They danced all night.

I set up May 17 at my neighbourhood rustic farmstead for a night of time-lapse shooting of the old barn in the moonlight, but knowing an aurora was likely. My iPad app beeped and alerted me to that possibility only an hour or so before sunset, letting me know a storm was underway. And sure enough, as soon as it got dark, there were the curtains of green dancing all over the blue twilight sky. This frame is from 1200 I shot in a dusk to dawn time-lapse movie. It is from early in evening, with a pink glow of twilight still fringing the northwest horizon.

What marked this display was the blue and purple curtains, with those colours only really apparent in the camera images. I think those tints come from sunlight hitting the auroral curtains high in the atmosphere where the Sun is still shining. At this time of year the high atmosphere never gets dark and is always lit by sunlight streaming over the pole.

More images to come!

– Alan, May 18, 2013 / © 2013 Alan Dyer

%d bloggers like this: