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Old 04-12-2013, 08:47 PM
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Exclamation NFFR: Aurora Borealis Tonight In Lower 48!

There will be a display of the Aurora beginning sometime around 10:00 PM - 2:00 AM tomorrow. The Northern Lights may be visible as far south as Great Falls MT. and pretty much across the northern United States and Canada. This will be a strong display caused by a geomagnetic storm due to a huge solar flare which occurred yesterday. It will strike the earths atmosphere around 10 - 11: PM Alaska time; earlier for you to my east.

For many down there this could be your night. If you live near the mountains and the sky is clear drive to some elevation and watch the Northern sky. Avoid a northern exposure with a large city to your north as the lights from the city will affect your ability to view the Aurora.

Good Luck

I'll be headed north in a couple hours to get set for the show

March 18, 3:45 AM out at the cabin, hope it's this good tonight
Click the image to open in full size.


I met a fellow last night who had a Cannon DSLR but was not up to snuff on how he might get a decent picture of the Northern Lights.

I'm no photography expert but I did help him out and thought perhaps I should share the bare bones advice I gave him with readers here.

He had a telephoto mounted. This is not a good choice.

In his bag he had the 'Kit Lens' that had came with the Cannon, an 18 - 55 mm f- 3.5 lens.

If you have a similar lens and nothing faster this will work.

Mount the 18 - 55 lens
Remove any filters including UV and clean lens objective
Set your ISO at 800 (menu function)
Switch to manual focus
Set the camera to manual function
Set aperture to 3.5
Set shutter speed at 15 seconds (that's what I said, 15 seconds)
Look in the menu and if you have 'Noise Reduction' set it to 'ON'
Turn off the 'Instant View' on the LED screen (the light will mess up your night vision and drain your batteries.
Use tripod and remote

Check the first exposure to see if you need more or less time on the shutter and make adjustment as needed.
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Last edited by Hardyreels; 04-13-2013 at 03:55 PM. Reason: I added shooting info;
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:03 PM
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Default Re: NFFR: Aurora Borealis Tonight In Lower 48!

Same goes for tomorrow night. Unfortunately, we may not have very clear skies...
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:19 PM
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Default Re: NFFR: Aurora Borealis Tonight In Lower 48!

Below is an image I found for the Aurora tomorrow night. I'm not entirely sure how the viewing is supposedly better in the mid-atlantic, but it is a rare opportunity for a lot of people. Get to some mountains, or as far away from light pollution as possible, and hope it's not cloudy.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:51 PM
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Default Re: NFFR: Aurora Borealis Tonight In Lower 48!

That's a good idea, I use both of the sites linked below to gage whether or not to go north.

Aurora Forecast | Geophysical Institute

SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids

On the University of Alaska Fairbanks site choose the map that best suits your location. For here in Alaska a 5 or 6 means a real show. I've never seen a 9. I believe a 9 means they will be visible farther south.

Ard

---------- Post added at 07:51 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:16 PM ----------

I've got the battery pack for my Nikon charging right now. It is unthinkable to hike up a frozen river to photograph the lights and then run low on camera power. I'm going to shoot semi telephoto with a f-2.8 50 mm Sigma and try for some good color rendition.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:40 PM
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Default Re: NFFR: Aurora Borealis Tonight In Lower 48!

I am pretty bummed. I heard that this was going to happen, but of course, our weather is terrible. Completely overcast skies tonight, so no AB for me. Hopefully the rest of you have better viewing conditions than we do!
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:19 AM
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Default Re: NFFR: Aurora Borealis Tonight In Lower 48!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poke 'Em View Post
Same goes for tomorrow night. Unfortunately, we may not have very clear skies...
Same problem here. Snow followed by snow and then some snow.
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Old 04-13-2013, 01:00 AM
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Default Re: NFFR: Aurora Borealis Tonight In Lower 48!

Clear here,

I am waiting another half hour for the last battery to charge and then going up to Susitna Landing. From there I can walk up river on a hard pack & ice trail to get a look. If we had a full moon you could see Denali & Foraker from there too..................

No moon at all tonight so it'll be a very dark walk. Of course it will be 0 or below up there just to keep you moving at a brisk pace.
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:30 AM
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Default Re: NFFR: Aurora Borealis Tonight In Lower 48!

I was afraid of that... fog rolled in before the lights showed up. And tonight's definitely not going to happen, with the 6-11" of snow they're calling for, starting this afternoon.
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:01 AM
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Default Re: NFFR: Aurora Borealis Tonight In Lower 48!

I'm pleasantly surprised to find that my part of PA is supposed to be good viewing...except Accuweather calls for cloudy conditions through the entire time frame.
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:24 AM
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Default Re: NFFR: Aurora Borealis Tonight In Lower 48!

I just got back home..............burr, 1* at the river and from 11:45 PM Friday night until 4:10 AM today (Saturday) there wasn't a peep of lights in the sky. Go figure? Aside from the fantastic view of the Milkyway stars there was N- O - T - H - I -N - G !

I'm a little disappointed and a lot tired; going to bed now.............

Ard
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