aurora borealis

Magical night, by AaronGroen

This is probably a once in a lifetime situation #unicorn… I went out Saturday night when I seen the Aurora Borealis notification on my phone saying it had hit a Kp 6.(Here in southeastern South Dakota you need at least a kp 5 to make it worth it) so I ventured to the north end of town and on my way out of town noticed some lightning way in the distance but I could still see plenty of stars to the north so I kept going. As the storm quickly approached I decided to stop here at this old brick building , I’m sure if you live in the area you will recognize this one. I set up quick and started shooting , at first the aurora was pretty faint, and as the storm was coming fast I thought it was gonna be a bust on the aurora for the night. I continued shooting and started trying more for lightning facing more to the west with the building more to the right side of the pic. I looked over and could see the aurora had suddenly gotten brighter so I adjusted the frame and continued the time-lapse really hoping with luck I would be able to catch a good strike with the aurora colors on the other side. Later I didn’t know if I had what I wanted or not and went home when the clouds completely covered the stars (after a couple hours). Going through the images this happened to be about the best lightning shot of the bunch and somehow through my magical good luck this frame also had the biggest spike in the aurora of all the shots. This is a single exposure, and I think I may be able to use this and the rest of the shots in my time-lapse I am still working on , Weathered… coming soon Thanks for looking !!!

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 2015 July 27 

Milky Way and Aurora over Antarctica 

It has been one of the better skies of this long night. In parts of Antarctica, not only is it winter, but the Sun can spend weeks below the horizon. At China’s Zhongshan Station, people sometimes venture out into the cold to photograph a spectacular night sky. 

The featured image from one such outing was taken in mid-July, just before the end of this polar night. Pointing up, the wide angle lens captured not only the ground at the bottom, but at the top as well. In the foreground is a colleague also taking pictures. In the distance, a spherical satellite receiver and several windmills are visible. Numerous stars dot the night sky, including Sirius and Canopus. Far in the background, stretching overhead from horizon to horizon, is the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy. Even further in the distance, visible as extended smudges near the top, are the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, satellite galaxies near our huge Milky Way Galaxy.

This blurry photo is one of my favorites I’ve ever made.

Lying on the hood of the land cruiser with Jordann watching the aurora blanket over us in Montana. Didn’t have a tripod so I just put the camera on my chest and made this shot.