Incredible night skies this weekend

Another Aurora experience for me this weekend. I was absolutely stunned at what I witnessed above me as I stood in the darkness and gazed at the beaming and dancing display of light and colour. I was out both Friday and Saturday nights. Friday night I shot a few exposures of the stars and planets Jupiter, Mars and Saturn, all of which were visible in the night sky. There was no sign of the Aurora that night. Saturday I went back to the same location as I could see just the faintest green glow from my backyard and figured that in a darker location with my eyes adjusted to the darkness, there must be something to see. Within 5 minutes of arriving and setting up, the show fired up and I was treated to an incredible event. I spoke with others in the region who also saw it and claimed they had not seen anything this impressive for some time, so my timing work out pretty well!

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From green to pink and purple, the display was phenomenal.
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Jupiter over the Tantalus Mountains

This was an approx 4 minute exposure. It features Jupiter (brightest “star”) and the celestial equator. You will notice the stars in the top right and bottom left are arcing in opposite directions.

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Mars and Saturn over the Pilots

The power of light pollution really shows here. Approx 70km away but the glow of the city dominates the Southern sky. You can see Mars (brightest) directly above the Sky Pilot mountain group which is silhouetted in 3 bumps on the horizon. Saturn is to the left of Mars a couple of stars. The Stawamus Chief can be seen towering over the town of Squamish in the lower right hand corner.

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Red hues really dominate this image of the Aurora at it’s peak luminescence
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As the lights faded for a few moments, this Proton Arc appeared from the West.
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Jupiter and a Proton Arc over the Tantalus mountains which are reflecting the green glow from the Aurora to the North.

The Red glow from the Aurora also seems to be seeping into the image, it appears that this Proton Arc is actually a phenomenon connected to the Aurora that I was not aware of prior to seeing it on this occasion. You learn something new every day!


2 thoughts on “Incredible night skies this weekend

    1. I’m glad they have brought you joy John! I think the greatest effort with night sky shooting is getting out and/or staying out late and in the dark. The Aurora images were captured at relatively low ISO’s for 25-30 seconds. The stars can be a bit more challenging, and star trail images can be the most complex, as there are multiple methods you can use. Thanks for taking a look!

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