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December 8, 2021

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Friday, November 5, 2021

Aurora Hits Lower 48 Tonight!*

aurora-UAFIt’s rare that the lower 48 gets a good look at the aurora – but depending where you are in the northern USA and southern Canada tonight you just might get a chance. According to some experts it’s going to be a good week for viewing the northern lights… assuming cloud cover stays away and you can find somewhere away from light pollution.

For all of those first time aurora shooters out there, I recommend that you read TheMudflats contributor Carl Johnson‘s article over at his blog, with some great pointers  on how to get the best image. Please also check out his amazing aurora gallery from around the state (which are available to purchase [hint hint]).

Unless you live north of the Arctic Circle, you can’t just head out on any clear night to photograph the aurora borealis.  There are certain conditions that produce strong auroras, strong enough to be seen farther south; and they are not always present.  So you need to know how to interpret the space weather as well as the Earth weather, and get a read on current conditions.

First, you can’t see the aurora if it’s cloudy where you live.  In Alaska, your best source of getting weather information is the NOAA Alaska Region website. You can get detailed regional forecasts and examine real time satellite imagery of cloud cover, including six-hour loops, in your area.  That way, if it is cloudy where you are, you can at least look for the holes in those clouds using satellite imagery.  Your best bet for nighttime imagery is to go with the “Thermal IR” or “Infrared” images…

Read the whole article at blog.carljohnsonphoto.com

Carl helped me out when I first moved up to Alaska and let me tag along on his aurora hunting adventures, something I wrote about previously.  For now, enjoy these photos I took from some of my aurora hunts.

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Carl watches the horizon for the green glow as a car speeds by.

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There she is! The aurora makes her appearance – barely noticeable to the naked eye – but she shows her colors through the camera. The big dipper is also shining bright.

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Frank shines his flashlight on the river for a cool effect.

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She’s just starting to peak – teasing us, for what would become an incredible show.

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Hiding again, but showing a strong green band across the mountaintops.

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Finally the explosion! The aurora was so strong that is was reflecting off of the river – visible to the naked eye.

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Haven’t seen aurora this tall in a long time…

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Fading now… and to all a goodnight.

Comments

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Comments
5 Responses to “Aurora Hits Lower 48 Tonight!*”
  1. mike from iowa says:

    No aurora for mikeyland last night,at least not before midnight. Bummer. 🙁

  2. nswfm says:

    All very pretty. I’ve wanted to see them since I was in college.

  3. RipleyInCT says:

    I am going to try to see this if I can. I have a reasonable chance, they say!

  4. Corning,NY says:

    Shane, you are, quite simply, an ass.

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