Simply Astonishing

The kind, watchful folks at NOAA issued a minor magnetic storm watch on September 30 – to take place from late last night and through the following 48 hours. Then they upgraded the storm from minor to moderate. And they also forecasted that the storm would actually arrive late today. But I’ve (at least a little) learned my lesson about cameras and readiness. I had an empty memory card and two batteries charged for the evening. And I wasn’t disappointed.

I had just crawled between the sheets, prepared to wind down for the night – you know, like normal people do at midnight πŸ˜‰ – with some Harry Potter. And then someone texted Tony. Frustration didn’t even occur to me. I knew exactly who would be texting that late. I read about 10 pages of Harry’s next adventure before donning outdoor attire and hitting the road.

We have seen taller aurora, and we have seen more active aurora (though it did change character much later in the night, doing the whole strobing thing that I swear should make noise, but doesn’t), but we have never seen more colorful aurora. I have hundreds more photos, but these are some of the prettiest, and they show a fun progression. Taken from 12:46am – 12:48am. I’m including both a slideshow (for speed-clickthrough fun) and large versions, which link to even bigger versions on flickr if you want to check them out in ginormous form πŸ˜‰

Hope these make your day just a teensy bit brighter (And for those who ask – feel free to share the love.) πŸ™‚

Click any image for the super-size version
Torch Lake Aurora

Torch Lake Aurora-2

Torch Lake Aurora-3

Torch Lake Aurora-4

Torch Lake Aurora-5

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37 thoughts on “Simply Astonishing

    • This absolutely makes my day – and is the reason I’ve posted. I wish everyone could see these one day, but if not, I hope to share the beauty for vicarious viewing πŸ™‚

    • It was incredible. It really is astonishing – wish we could share it with you!
      If you are actually interested in using one of the photos, let me know πŸ™‚

  1. Amazing! Incredible! When Mother Nature puts on a light show, she doesn’t hold back! Thank you for crawling out of your warm bed and capturing the show to share with us.

    • Thank you and you’re welcome. The show is what makes it so that I can’t sleep – even after I put my camera on a timer, I got up several times to check it. I suspect an afternoon nap will be in order πŸ˜‰

  2. Seriously?! For real?! That’s amazing! Living in Houston, I don’t even really see stars at night, much less whatever strange magic caused your green whatever that was! Awesome pictures!

      • Do you have quiet? My parents live in Phoenix. They have this indescribable quiet that I just adore. We have wind and trees and dogs and cars and lawn mowers and yeah, we are also on the flight path for the airport… I’ll bet you get some quiet….

        • We do. It’s pretty quiet here year-round, but especially so in the winter with the snow to absorb extra noise. When we come home from Traverse City (not at all a city by Houston standards), we often stand out in the middle of the road remarking on the quiet. It’s a profound hush, and it’s part of what we love about country living.

          • I want to live someplace pretty that lends itself to fabulous photo ops, but I think what I want most is that amazing quiet. Perhaps that’s the introvert in me?

          • I think my introvert is bigger than yours πŸ˜‰
            I know a lot of people would feel isolated and lonely living where I do, but I have the opposite feeling when in a city. Hopefully you’re able at least to take vacations that accommodate your inner introvert?

  3. That’s crazy man! I lived in MI for 25yrs and never saw anything like this. I got jipped big time!!! Pretty awesome stuff.

    • One of my best friends grew up in northern Maine and never saw them either. We are experiencing a peak in solar activity, but I attribute much of my “success” in seeing them to the better predictions of their arrival and better communications.

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    • It’s an unreal kind of thing. It’s so expansive and active – the curtains of light pulse and move so much. And it’s absolutely silent. I know that sunrises and sunsets are similar in their magnitude, but there’s clearly so much energy striking our atmosphere during an aurora that I can never quite believe the quietude. Anyway – thanks for pausing to comment!

  5. You are such a midnight sport. And thank GOODNESS for all of us that you are! These are so beautiful. Have never seen any this beautiful, ever. (Of course it might be harder for me to get out of bed after midnight than it is for you…)

    • Thanks Ms. Kathy! I hadn’t even really made it to bed yet – I’m not so good getting up once I’m asleep!
      Now sunrises…there’s a sight I miss. Every day. πŸ˜‰

    • I would say no, but I was there πŸ˜‰
      However, even though we could see the colors this time, they aren’t that vibrant in person. Those photos were 30-second exposures.

  6. Wow. That’s stunning. I would love to have a chance to see the aurora myself, but until then these pictures are a great way to see it! Thanks for sharing!

    • I wish everyone could see it at least once. But sharing it with others who might not get a chance makes me happy. Thanks for partaking with me! (I’m working on a timelapse video and have some other photos, I’ve just been buried under other things I’ve wanted to share…good problems πŸ˜‰ )

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