Aurora Season - Friday Photo #399

Friday Photo #399 – Aurora Season

Photo: First sighting of aurora borealis – northern lights in the sky over Lofoten of the 2020/2021 aurora season, Flakstadøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. August 23, 2020. 00:50

Anytime after around August 20th the wait for the first aurora of the season begins. The weather has generally been cloudy for the last week and so even with the forecast of a possible incoming solar storm, I didn’t put much effort into looking – as I generally just saw clouds in the night sky.

And so Saturday night I was on my way to bed a bit after midnight and took one last look at the sky while brushing my teeth. Hmm, that could be aurora! I thought as I saw a light streak high overhead in the now somewhat clear sky – though the clouds were quickly incoming from behind the mountains. I ran and grabbed my camera to take a test shot. Green! Yep, northern lights!

Like a rehearsed fireman off to a fire, I was out the door and heading down to my local beach, anxiously watching the sky overhead. The aurora was still there. The clouds were moving in quickly so I didn’t have too much time to think or look for the best foreground composition. I just wanted to get something at all. Luckily the aurora increased for a couple minutes once I began shooting – even forming into this green heart in the sky.

Even at nearly 01:00, the darkest time of the night, you can see the horizon was still glowing bright. I actually think the surrounding clouds in this image help make it better by darkening what might have been an otherwise overly bright horizon.

I saw a dancing corona directly overhead the following night as well, but the hole in the clouds was too small for me to make the effort to go out. But the season has begun! And hopefully it turns out a little better than last year.

Camera Info:
Nikon D850
Sigma 14mm f/1.8
ISO 1250
f 2
2.5 seconds
WB Daylight

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