Chasing Aurora

For those of us who love the sky, living in Western Washington is both a blessing and a curse. We are far enough north to have long winter nights but not so far up or inland to have to wear survival gear to spend a few hours outside. The curse is to know the beauty is right there above you if you just didn't have the cloud cover. But on those rare nights when the clouds and the fog roll back, what a display. We've seen aurora borealis from the far north of the Yukon and the somewhat far north of British Columbia, but if you really enjoy the chase the Seattle area is the place. Each day and again in the evenings I keep track of our sun and its latest burps. I've collected bits and pieces from many web sites to build a page for myself Aurora Live. Please feel free to use this page if the mood strikes you. You track the CME's, you watch the weather and you wait. Occasionally you strike gold (or red or green...). Below are a few pictures of just such events. Enjoy.

Jump to an evening...

October 28, 2001 November 7, 2004
 
October 28, 2001
click on an image for a big copy
A moon lit night just south of Cle Elum.
Canon FTb 35mm f/3.5, 30sec., Kodak 200 Gold
As the moon was going down the aurora picked up intensity.
Canon FTb 35mm f/3.5, 30sec., Kodak 200 Gold
This was an example of the bright colors and yellow rays we saw for hours that night.
Canon FTb 35mm f/3.5, 45sec., Kodak 200 Gold
The sky was simply filled with vibrant strawberry red. While the Kodak film (above) has more color, the Fuji represents better the colors the eye saw that night.
Canon FTb 35mm f/3.5, 30sec., Fuji 200 Super HQ
The red aurora became so bright it was illuminating the snow covered mountains and making them pink.
Canon FTb 35mm f/3.5, 30sec., Fuji 200 Super HQ
More of the red with the yellow rays. Simply stunning. Notice the Big Dipper centered in the picture.
Canon FTb 35mm f/3.5, 30sec., Fuji 200 Super HQ
November 7, 2004
click on an image for a big copy
Overlooking North Bend, WA.
Sony DSC-V1 Digital F2.8 30sec. ASA 200

Sony DSC-V1 Digital 25sec. ASA 200
Troy and Nora watching the show
Sony DSC-V1 Digital 25sec. ASA 200

Sony DSC-V1 Digital 25sec. ASA 200

Sony DSC-V1 Digital 25sec. ASA 200
What the pictures can't capture was the incredible energy of the evening.
Sony DSC-V1 Digital 25sec. ASA 200
Static pictures don't show the way this aurora flashed across the sky.
Sony DSC-V1 Digital 20sec. ASA 200
It was like watching a shimmering pond.
Sony DSC-V1 Digital 20sec. ASA 200
Or a strong wing blowing (well, duhh).
Sony DSC-V1 Digital 20sec. ASA 200
At times is was bright enough to read by.
Sony DSC-V1 Digital 20sec. ASA 200

Sony DSC-V1 Digital 10sec. ASA 200
The lights of North Bend below, Mt. Si to the right.
Sony DSC-V1 Digital 15sec. ASA 200