Spring is aurora season, and just before midnight last night a display of the northern lights lit up the sky. Taking a test shot from the window confirmed the alert from my phone app, so I headed out the door. The display had already started to subside once I’d defrosted the car and got to a dark spot. But I got there in time to capture a sequence of 50 frames. Enough for a (very!) short time-lapse…
A meteor can be seen around half way through the time-lapse sequence, just to the right of the Andromeda galaxy. You might need to download the HD version to make it out… Here’s the ‘test’ shot taken before heading out. The display was pretty strong at this point…
Orion rises over the jagged slopes of Helvellyn in the Lake District. The figure standing in silhouette on England’s third highest mountain is dwarfed by the constellation.
Taken from the lower slopes of Striding Edge, a friend wilfully volunteered to stand on the edge of a precipice as a setting crescent moon illuminates the distant snow-capped peaks.
Using the barn door tracker at half speed allowed me to effectively double the exposure time before the motion blur of either the ground and the sky became noticeable.
This technique combined with the altitude and the dark skies of Cumbria helped bring out the classic deep sky objects. The Great Orion nebula, Horesehead nebula and Flame nebula all make an appearance. With a hint of Barnard’s loop just visible.
The really comes into it’s own with this type of wide angle constellation shot. Making the reddish gold of Betelgeuse and the brilliant white of Rigel stand out spectacularly in the scene.
Last night a solar storm hit Earth producing one of the strongest auroras of this solar cycle. Unfortunately for me, a misty evening drowned out much of the show. All but for 20 minutes when the silent display flared up strongly enough for me to catch a glimpse… Continue reading Aurora through the mist