The Auroral STORM

Ahoy! You might be thinking to yourself “yet another Aurora post”, and I wouldn’t blame you, because I’ve been putting up a lot of them lately! However, this one has a new piece to offer, I hope you’ll check it out!

Last nights Aurora was a true “storm”. The kP (measure of Auroral Activity) was at 5 and there was no chance I was going to miss it! I took myself and my gear to Murphy Dome. This time I snowshoed in a little ways to get away from all the light possible. However, by 11:30 the aurora was yet to show itself! Rather than be disappointed I headed back to the truck and grabbed my sleeping bag. I wasn’t going anywhere. ย While waiting for the Aurora I did capture this shot: It’s a 3 minute exposure to deomonstrate the start movement… and also how many of them there are! The skies were completely dark last night due to our new moon. A perfect night for starscapes and the Aurora.

3 minute exposure of the hills north of Murphy Dome. Milky way and a LOT of stars!
3 minute exposure of the hills north of Murphy Dome. Milky way and a LOT of stars!

At about midnight I was still laying out waiting for the Aurora. I was pretty comfortable which makes the eyes heavy. When I woke up at 2 it was finally starting! I caught the beginning of the Aurora which had plenty of reds in it (visible to the naked eye) and was dancing across the sky.

Waiting for the Aurora I spend a lot of time curled up in my sleeping bag. In fact, I got in my bag at 11:30 PM and did not get out until 4:30 the next morning. When I wasnt wathching the Aurora I caught some Zzzz's!
Waiting for the Aurora I spend a lot of time curled up in my sleeping bag. In fact, I got in my bag at 11:30 PM and did not get out until 4:30 the next morning. When I wasnt wathching the Aurora I caught some Zzzz’s!
The reds of the Aurora
The reds of the Aurora

The aurora continued to build, but it was not like an Aurora I have seen yet. There was SO MUCH activity that the whole northern sky became filled with green. Small pieces of bright aurora would pop out of the green fog and dance before disappearing. If I were to face north and stick may arms out straight at my sides, everything in front of my body was green. The whole sky was saturated. These saturated greens do not flicker and dance, but shift like a pale haze.ย  The video will show you easily the transition from the structured Aurora to the green storm. It reminds me of a movie’s cut scene while looking into a magic ball.

I also think that I got lucky enough to get some blues in the timelapse video, however, that could be wishful thinking. If you think you see them let me know, so I know I’m not just seeing what I want to see! ๐Ÿ™‚ . They certainly were not visible to the naked eye… so that only half counts on my Aurora ‘bucket list’ anyway – blues are definitely on the bucket list!

This video has been slowed down considerably from other videos based on the feedback everyone gave. Thanks!

The night ended with me still sitting in the same spot as I had slept. My snowshoes still planted in the snow and the Aurora was still overhead, but you have to call it quits at sometime… right?. What a night!

This photo was taken at the very end of my stay at 4:30 AM. The last pieces of the storm still drifted in the sky.
This photo was taken at the very end of my stay at 4:30 AM. The last pieces of the storm still drifted in the sky.

16 thoughts on “The Auroral STORM

  1. I am speechless. I thought I saw a bit of blue but couldn’t tell for certain if it was blue or a different, darker shade of green. What an amazing experience, Ian! Do I need to send you a Zero Hero award for spending the night outside???? I, for one, truly appreciate your efforts to bring all of us into this incredible side of nature. Perfect background music, also:)

  2. Ian, I LOVE reading your blog posts, but I realized I never actually told you this, so I just wanted to stop being a creeper and fess up to how much I enjoy watching your adventures! This is so so so cool. Keep them coming!

  3. Hi Ian, You are right- this was well worth waiting for. Never get tired of seeing and hearing about your experiences.

    I would get lonely out their alone. Love, Gram

    1. Thanks Grammy! So glad that you can check in an see this stuff! :D. I didn’t get lonely up there, but the wind made me check over my shoulder a few times. I heard some ‘moose like’ rustlings

  4. Thank you once again for enabling us to glimpse this unspeakably glorious creation. There did appear to be a very deep shade of blue.

  5. You definitely have a proclivity to vividity! I love all the venues in the final still shot. Storm, stars, star, glow-scape, lamp-scape, dome-home and a WONDERFUL scrubby pine leaning forward for a better view of all of the above. As the snowshoes wait patiently to call it a (successful) night.

  6. That last shot at 4:30..great!!! thank for allowing me to look over your shoulder. I live up near Livengood but am way to old to be up late at night to try and catch the Aurora.

  7. Wow! What an incredible night you spent, experiencing the aurora in a way we only get to see in photographs- even if the photos are wonderful. Natures has always called to you. So glad you’ve answered. Thank you for sharing what you experience.

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