August 5th Aurora Borealis over Lake Superior

Wow, the August 5th Aurora display was simply breath taking. Through out the day I kept getting the space weather alerts courtesy of Spaceweather.com. The last one I got that day said the Planetary K-index had hit an 8. I can’t even remember ever getting an alert beyond 5 or 6. I was hoping for clear skies but as I headed into Duluth to join others for a night photography shoot it was raining on the northern horizon. We spent time inside at the DPI with a presentation by Bob King (“Astro Bob”) from the Duluth News Tribune. After the presentation we headed to our first location Brighton Beach on the shore of Lake Superior. The evening started out photographing the nearly 2nd quarter moon but as the clouds started breaking up a small glow to the north started around 2145. From there the aurora faded in and out for a while until the really brilliant pillars and pulsing glow kicking in round 2245. Near midnight the green aurora display went from the horizon to completely overhead. Finally, around 0130 the show was fading and the camera get got put away. It was an amazing display to watch laying there on the beach watching the sky shimmer and pulse. Unlike my first experience photographing the Aurora back in November of 2004, this time I was better prepared. Below is a gallery sampling some of the many views of the aurora that were seen Friday night. In most cases my exposures where ISO800 at F2.8 and focused at infinity on my camera lens.

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