Northern Lights – A New Excuse for Staying Up Too Late

Pardon my recent quietude, please; I’ve been busy. My sister and her boyfriend came to visit us last weekend, which was fantastic and which I will tell you about later. I also got birthday presents. But it’s not yet my birthday, so I’ll wait to tell you about that, too.  I’ve got several food things to blog about, and have even taken pictures for at least two of them. But those will also hold. What I cannot wait to tell you about is that we saw a beautiful display of aurora late last night/early this morning. (Which I just realized is now likely two nights ago…4/23, starting around 11:40pm, EST.)

Tony signed up many moons ago to receive text alerts regarding solar activity. Usually we get these alerts at completely inopportune times like midday, or during a snow storm. The past couple days, though, have been magnificent – as long as you discount the howling, incessant winds. His phone had been chiming away all evening, and he kept stepping outside the garage, carefully hopping over the laser that trips the garage light to come on, while also staying out of the path of the motion light (which seems only to be motion-activated, and so is not helpful in guiding guests into the driveway at night…I digress).

He continued to report that even though the activity levels were high, (6.3 Kpa if that means anything to you…it doesn’t to me, except it means “high”) the sky didn’t look spectacular. I’ve been playing with this new camera though, and was eager to try to get a shot of the Northern Lights. I set up on my trusty tripod stool with a scrap of 1″x2″, focused in carefully blindly guessed what I was aiming at, and left the shutter open for a 30 second exposure. After confirming that the camera was picking up more than my eyes (on account of it had half of a minute to gather light while eyes function more or less instantaneously), and after realizing that our bedroom window faces north, I headed to warmer ground – also higher! – and captured several shots.

Please forgive me for the excessive photos. Clearly some are out of focus, because I couldn’t see to focus them. But I thought the color was good, so I’m sharing them regardless. Also, I am giddy that I had even a modicum of success 😉 I recommend clicking on the first in the gallery, which will open a slideshow thing-y for click-through ease. Clicking in the margins or pressing your “Esc” button will exit the slideshow.  If you’re not seeing color, try tilting your screen (assuming, of course, you are not on a fixed-position monitor). Hope you enjoy!!

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11 thoughts on “Northern Lights – A New Excuse for Staying Up Too Late

    • I bet you get an even better view up there! If I had a real tripod and not a stool or whatever stationary object I can find, we would’ve gone to Torch Lake. I think Lake Superior would be a nice, wide-open space to see them from 🙂

  1. Pingback: Howling at the Moon (and the Northern Lights) | Adventures in Michigan's Up North

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