Thursday, January 26, 2012

Aurora

 I read that there was a lot of solar activity today so there should be a lot of auroral activity. Barrow is north of the auroral oval and normally doesn't get too many aurora overhead. Today was different. The first shot is facing north looking out over the sea ice. There is a lot of digital noise as I was using ISO 1600 and a long exposure. As you can see from the star images, I also was not using a tripod. The skies here are a lot darker than in Fairbanks so I thought I would try some aurora photos. Both of these were taken at F5 and 5 sec exposure. No post processing.

This one was taken looking east. I'm not sure why the lower right side of the image looks blurry. No exciting colors in the aurora, at least not here in Barrow. I was thinking about dropping the ISO to 1600 but was loosing feeling in my fingers and I didn't have a tripod. Since the aurora are moving, the longer the exposure, the less detail you capture. Next time, I'll try and remember to bring a tripod.

As you can see in this graphic from the auroral forecast site, the auroral oval actually passes through Barrow. Usually, it is pretty well centered on Fairbanks.

10 comments:

Unknown said...

Richard:

do you have an "infinity" focus setting ? low light may have caused the AF not to focus properly. I find that you have to take your camera OFF "auto ISO", set for something around iso:400 and +EC about 1 stop, but then you would need a tripod (or a bean bag)

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

redlegsrides said...

ya know, that's pretty steady holding you got going there with a 5 sec exposure time!

dom


Redleg's Rides

Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

RichardM said...

I had it on manual focus and just tried two shots, one at each end of the focus as the focus ring is not marked. I also turned off auto ISO and manually set it to 3200 and tried exposures at 2", 5", & 10" all at wide open aperture. I tried one shot at ISO 800 and 10" exposure but ended up with nothing. Maybe if it's clear I'll try it again but it was pretty cold at -35°F and windy.

VStar Lady said...

Spectacular!!! I've seen the northern lights from my vantage point here in Ontario but they are truly pale in comparison to the show you've captured.

RichardM said...

Next time I'll use a tripod though the aurora are moving quite a bit as well. Especially over 5 sec.

RichardM said...

And this pales to the show I normally see in Fairbanks. The advantage here is the dark sky. You really need to get away from town back home in Fairbanks due to all of the street lights.

Dar said...

When I lived in Prince George we would see them from time to time & they were pretty stunning. Green & pink dancing across the sky, it was beautiful, you are pretty lucky if you get to see them regularly. I can only imagine what the temperature was when you were outside, brrrrrr.

RichardM said...

I still don't get tired of watching them though we only get other colors besides green with a touch of pink. I still haven't seen the mythical red aurora.

It was cold out but it's a lot colder back home in Fairbanks. Maybe even dropping below -50°F...

Trobairitz said...

No exciting colors?

To those of use that don't get to see the Northern Lights, green is an exciting color.

Thanks for sharing.

RichardM said...

Often, we have it green with purple along the bottom. I hear that very rarely is is more red (higher energy particles). I was hoping to see them again while I was up in Barrow as the sky is so much darker and get a better picture.