The Milky Way and the Northern Lights arch across the sky in the Frenchman River valley of Grasslands National Park.
This 360° panorama takes in two arches of light:
• The Milky Way rising out of the northeast at left and stretching across the sky overhead at top and down into the southwest at right of centre.
• And the Northern Lights, as an arc of green and red across the northern horizon. They got brighter and higher later this night, August 26/27, as my previous post shows.
Bands of green airglow also stretch across the sky from east to west.
I shot this last night from the Frenchman River coulee, a wide valley cut at the end of the Ice Age by glacial run off, and occupied today by the meandering Frenchman River. It winds through the heart of Grasslands National Park and makes its way to the Missouri River to drain into the Gulf of Mexico, one of only a handful of rivers in Canada to do so.
The river and wide pasture land made this a choice place for a ranch. For decades this was home to the 76 Ranch, one of the largest in Canada. At right is its old wood corral, in front of the Milky Way and its “Dark Horse” structure in the dark lanes of the Milky Way. Appropriate I thought.
The only lights visible are from spotlights from researches conducting studies of the nocturnal black-footed ferret. Otherwise, the site was as dark as you’ll find it in southern Canada.
I assembled this panorama using PTGui software, from 8 segments shot with a 14mm lens in portrait orientation, all untracked 80-second exposures at ISO 4000 and f/2.8.
– Alan, August 27, 2o14 / © 2014 Alan Dyer