After I watched the new Top Gun talkie, I checked the data in my aurora app while I was still in the parking lot. It looked goodThe Bz reading was ‑11, where the further into the negative, the better; I usually see a decent show if it’s at ‑4 or so., so I hurried home, grabbed my gear, and went out of town.
Unfortunately it was cloudy to the north. I set up anyway, hoping the clouds would move off, and started snapping photos.
Long story short: the clouds didn’t move off. I gave it about 45 minutes, and then packed up and went home.
Here’s a timelapse of about 20 minutes’ worth of my attempts. Each frame is a 10-second exposure.
And here’s a handful of my favourites from the photos I got. (I think I caught a meteor in the first one, on the far left.)
The aurora data looked good and the sky was clear, so I packed up my camera—grabbing, at the last minute, my 50mm lens, thinking I’d maybe get some shots of Orion with it—and headed out to find a dark spot.
10 minutes northwest of town, I stopped on the side of a gravel road and got set up. There was a faint haze to the north which, to the camera, was green (my eye saw it as grey). The data showed that there should be a bit more activity in about a half hour, so I started snapping photos. Initially I was taking photos at 10 second exposures. As the night wore on I dropped that to 5 seconds, then 2.5 and finally 2. (I took a few frames at 1 second with my f/1.8 lens, but they were a little darker than I like.)
Here’s the results.
It was even visible in town, if you knew what you were looking at. This photo was taken on my street, just before I went back in the house.
Added: I took a few photos for a panorama to show how wide the show was. This stretches from the west to the east; the road visible on the far left and the far right is, in fact, the same road.
It’s been a while since I went out chasing aurora. Tonight the clouds stayed away, and the temperature, while chilly, didn’t feel like it was going to kill me. I got a couple shots of the aurora, faint and hugging the northern horizon…
…and also an hour or so’s worth of star trails, including what looks like an iridium flare. (It looks like my camera moved at some point early in the hour. I didn’t jostle it; maybe the wind shifted it slightly.)
Last night I took a drive, and got some shots of a diffuse aurora borealis on a back road a few miles outside of town.
I shot for about ½ hour between 11 and 11:30 pm, and made a short timelapse video, too. Each second of video is about a minute in real-time.
And then, when I came back to town, I decided to get a few shots of the old Kullbergs warehouse demolition going on at 18th Street and Pacific Avenue. The photo below is an HDR merge of two photos, to try to balance the brightness of the exterior with the darkness of the interior.
Today was Kathleen’s birthday. I ordered up a flocking from the local Kinsmen club, and so this morning, before dawn, two dozen plastic pink flamingos showed up on my lawn.
Then, tonight, my phone buzzed: there was a strong possibility of aurora. So I grabbed my gear and drove out of town, where I found it was cold and very bright under a nearly-full moon. There was indeed aurora, right at the edge of vision, but the moon washed it out quite a bit.
But I did find a new location for star trails, to be filed away for a warmer, darker night, so at least there’s that.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I might need a hot chocolate.