|Monday, 07 November 2011 22:01|
Northern Lights - heavenly mirage
So long I have been waiting for this moment and almost missed that! It was our little daughter's cry that woke us up in the middle of the night - I could not believe what I saw when I looked out from out roof window - the sky was dancing with dull light as if the warm air waves above the hot surface of desert. I watch the Aurora forecast every day but no one can actually predict the real intensity and extent of Northern Lights at given latitude. If there was not Magdalena crying I would certainly miss one of the best Auroras in Bergen in recent years.
One of the first pictures, 2:48 a.m.
Northern Lights are quite common far North but here in Bergen the Kp intensity index needs to be at least 4 for the lights to be visible. This number simply shows the intensity of Aurora as for example the Richter magnitude scale shows the intensity of earthquakes. A potential observer needs to know the minimal intensity of the Aurora to be observable at the sky of given latitude. For Bergen the minimum Kp is 4.
Intensive Aurora shines with red hues
On that morning 25. October the intensity was somewhere between 7 and 8 and we were lucky as that night the sky was unusually clear of clouds. It was 2.30 a.m., already 2 hours after the show began when we first came out to see the full sky. It was shimmering with dull lights and I was a bit disappointed as I expected to see deep green colours instead. I took lazily my camera and took one record shot - what was my surprise when I saw the real colours! The longer exposure drew the Aurora in real beautifully green colours. I took my tripod and started to shoot around our house with the camera pointed upwards. Then I drove our car at the end of the road - the only spot entirely devoid of road lamps - but the night was slowly going to a dawn and the Aurora weakened. It was shortly after 5 a.m. when I took the very last picture of our house with Aurora in the background and went to a bed.
Aurora fills the whole sky - view towards south
So it was my first encounter with Northern Lights - it was unexpected and amazing! The most fascinating were the stars glowing through the veil of Aurora as well as the silence of Northern Lights. It is quite extraordinary - the whole sky moves but there is no noise, no sound, it is magic! Taking pictures of Aurora is like peeking into kaleidoscope - the sky above moves and you only press the shutter release at different shutter speeds and then wonder how splendid pictures the nature paints onto the camera sensor. The following two years promis more sun activity (which has consequences for Aurora activity - energetically charged particles emited by Sun interact with high altitude atmosphere and the ionized elements then produce the lights) so I hope these were not the last images of Northern Lights I took.
For photographers: most of the pictures were taken with ISO 1000, aperture 4.0 and exposure times 6- 30 s, Canon 5D mark II camera, lens 17-40mm
Miracles in the sky...
View towards north...
Magic light above my head...
Far from road lamps...
|Last Updated on Thursday, 10 November 2011 11:18|