The Milky Way, just off Hwy 2

I left the house last night around 11:30pm and head­ed south by south­east, look­ing for a nice dark spot to get some Milky Way pho­tos. I got set up on a grav­el road about 3 miles east of the junc­tion of High­ways #10 and #2, and start­ed snap­ping. Here are some of the shots I liked the most.

I had intend­ed to take an hour’s worth of pho­tos, but my cam­era bat­tery died after about 47 min­utes and I did­n’t notice for a while (I was read­ing in the car). Oh well, so it goes. Here’s the 47 min­utes com­pressed into a few sec­onds’ worth of time­lapse video.

Then, as I was leav­ing, I noticed the moon was set­ting over a small pond, so I got a shot of that, too.

Crescent moon reflected in a pond

Yet another aurora post

Aurora borealis

You tired of these? Because I’m not.

It was warm enough that I stayed out­side of the car and watched the show. To the naked eye—to my naked eye, at least—the auro­ra weren’t as bright green as they appear in the pho­tos; more like a dull pale­ness in the sky. But you could see motion and struc­ture in them, which isn’t always the case.

About 450 shots, 5s each.

If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.

—Kurt Von­negut, Jr.

The late show

Aurora Borealis

About mid­night last night, after I got home from get­ting half an hour of chilly star trails (and charged up the bat­ter­ies the cold killed), I checked the space-weath­er app on my phone. It told me I had a strong chance of see­ing some auro­ra if I left like right now.

So I did, and between about 12:15 and 1 AM, I got almost 400 pho­tos of north­ern lights.

And I made all 393 pho­tos into a 30-sec­ond time­lapse, too. (Every sec­ond of video rep­re­sents a minute of real time.)

Nerdy details: each pho­to is a 5‑second expo­sure, 11mm, f/2.8, ISO 1600. The pho­tos were edit­ed for brightness/contrast; the frames in the video are all straight-out-of-camera.