A Spectacular Night of Aurora In Arizona

11:30pm to 4am with consecutive 10 minute exposures

Uploaded 5/15/05

 One of the best auroral displays in years occured on the evening of the 14th through the morning of the 15th of this May. The cause was a CME event from an M type flare on the sun, quite rare in this point in the solar cycle which is within a year of solar minimum. You can see from the proton flux graph on the right that when we started the robotic Aurora Cam at 11:30, the Kp was still to low to show anything visually and there was no way to know if it was going to get better. A few hours after we went to bed, the Kp shot up and Bz strongly southward. The Kp hit 9 about 2am, and the aurora was very intense with rare purple colors and some rays. These images are the results of that all night sequence, starting at the begining when we set it up to 4am when I woke up and shut it down because the morning twilight was getting strong. Note that all the images are not only tracked equatorially, but have exactly the same field, over and over. This is unique to the Aurora Cam.
Click on any thumnail below for a bigger view (1024 x 768)
Frame 14, near 2am.  One of the best frames.
You can see Polaris below center and the Big
Dipper off to the left.  The top of the frame is
at the zenith with this fisheye lens.  The aurora
grades from brick reds to violets to blues.
The arrow indicates where we started the
camera, the blue line shows how the Kp index
quickly shot to 9 shortly afterwards !
Here is the complete sequence from our Aurora Cam (click to enlarge)

Instrument: 16mm f/2.8 Zenitar Fisheye at f/3.5 Platform: Aurora Cam with Robotic Barndoor Film: Supra 400 Exposure: 10 mins Filters: NONE Location: Payson, Arizona Elevation: 5100 ft. Sky: Seeing 8/10, Transparency 7/10 Outside Temperature: 10 C Processing: Photoshop CS HOME SCHMIDT GALAXIES EMISSION NEBS REFLECTION NEBS COMETS GLOBULARS OPEN CLUST PLANETARIES LINKS 


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