Aurora Light Pollution - Friday Photo #558

Friday Photo #558 – Aurora Light Pollution

Photo: Northern lights shine over low clouds and light pollution from nearby village, Flakstadøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. September 4, 2021. 01:01

In the image from a couple weeks ago (Friday Photo #556) I spoke about the still bright northern horizon of late August in the early part of the aurora season. This week’s photo is another type of light pollution typically found during the rest of the aurora season – low clouds and city light pollution. Personally, I prefer a clear sky and glowing horizon like in the previous image, vs. the image here today, which I just find frustrating.

This was a strong aurora, pushing beyond overhead and down towards the southeast part of the sky. Unfortunately, from my location at Storsandnes beach, it meant I was also looking directly towards Leknes. On clear nights, the light pollution would be fairly minimal, especially with such a strong aurora. But on this night, with low rain clouds passing over the islands, the city lights of Leknes illuminate the clouds over a wide area. It doesn’t look good.

Ideal would have been to pick a better location in this type of weather, where I could avoid looking towards any distant city lights. But that can also be easier said than done when there is significant cloud cover and you are sometimes lucky just to find a hole in the clouds anyhow. From this photo, I can see that I likely wouldn’t have seen anything had I gone to Haukland or Uttakeliv beaches, as the cloud cover looks more significant over there. So perhaps even with the light pollution from Leknes, I was at least in a decent location to see the northern lights in a mostly cloudy sky.

Head over to my Instagram account for (almost) daily postings of the local conditions here on Lofoten: @distant.north

Camera Info:
Nikon D850
Sigma 14mm f/1.8
ISO 2000
f 1.8
5 Seconds
WB Daylight

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