Boy, we got hit last night. When I first saw the aurora doing its crazy moves in twilight I knew we were in for something special. The northeastern sky – still dusky blue – lit up with multiple rays and arcs. It only got better as darkness settled in; by 11 o’clock stretchy, squirmy rays and pulsing patches of aurora cloaked the entire northern sky. But it didn’t stop there. Brimming with the sun’s energy, snake-like coils wrapped around the zenith and wriggled into the southern sky.
The show went on and on and on. Right when you thought nature would call it a wrap, the aurora charged up again and raced to the zenith. Finally around 1 a.m. it settled into a quieter dance of diffuse curtains and rays and continued till dawn.
I’ve included a few photos from the night for you to enjoy. The pictures were taken about 20 miles north of Duluth, Minn. with a Canon 1D Mark III camera using a wide angle 16-35mm zoom lens, aperture f/2.8, ISO 1600 and exposures from 8-20 seconds.
Some of the best moments I can’t show you because the pulsing patches came and went too fast to register much of an impression in the camera. I also seriously need to invest in a fisheye lens to better show the breadth of sky covered by our eyes – this aurora was simply too big!
I hope some of you caught the alert and had access to clear, dark skies to see the northern lights with your own eyes. Space weather forecasters are calling for more minor storms this evening June 7-8. I’m definitely game for a two-fer, sleep or no.