Aurora, April 23, 2023

Aurora Borealis, April 23, 2023

Last night, Kath­leen said to me, “I hear the auro­ra should be good tonight.” I checked the app on my phone that shows me the auro­ra data. Every­thing looked pret­ty good except the Bz val­ue, which was about +17. (For a good show, you want the Bz to be neg­a­tive. The longer it’s been neg­a­tive, the better.)

I had to show the movie at the Evans The­atre any­way, so I set­tled in to watch I Like Movies, a quirky Cana­di­an film about an awk­ward[1]Not to say infu­ri­at­ing. 17-year-old kid who, well, likes movies.

When the movie end­ed, I checked my phone again. Some­time dur­ing the movie the Bz had flipped, and it was around ‑27 and looked to be stay­ing there for a while. Last mon­th’s ridicu­lous show came dur­ing a ‑15 Bz event. So when we got home, I packed my gear and head­ed out.

It was almost 10pm when I got to my spot, and there was a sig­nif­i­cant cloud bank to the north­west. The auro­ra out­side of the cloud­ed area looked pret­ty meh. I set up my cam­era anyway.

I had a feel­ing that patience would be reward­ed. The sky over­head looked pret­ty promis­ing, too.

Aurora Borealis, April 23, 2023

I aimed my cam­era at the pines that stand at the edge of the road, and wait­ed. Sure enough…

I set myself a 30-minute timer, and let the cam­era click away, hop­ing to get a good timelapse.

Once that was done, I snapped a few more shots of the action going on all around me. There were lights vis­i­ble, once again, to the south of me. Also, at one point, the sky lit up so it was eas­i­ly as bright as the full moon. My pho­tos from those moments are over­ex­posed, but hon­est­ly, the auro­ra was bright enough to read by for a minute or two.

When I got home, just around mid­night, it was pos­si­ble to see shapes and move­ment in town, even in the glare from the street­lights. I did­n’t get any pho­tos of that, though; I was cold, tired, and it was a school night.

À la prochaine, aurora.

Inter­est­ed in prints of my pho­tos? Let me know, and we can work some­thing out.


1 Not to say infuriating.