Northern Lights over Payson

December 14 2006

7:25pm MST

Uploaded 12/16/06

Right: In this Kp index chart, the proton flux as it hit the Earth was elevated for most of the afternoon and really took off at 7pm. The red dashed line is considered storm level. We need a Kp of about 7 to see anything here in southerly Arizona.
 Here is a sequence from when we got home and set the robotic Aurora Cam up at 7:25, until 10:54pm with each frame a 10 minute tracked exposure aimed directly at Polaris. There is exactly 1 minute in between frames for the robotic Barn Door mount to rewind to start. As you can see from this sequence, the most intense display was early, and faded considerably by 9:00. Thick cirrus clouds moved in and out, at 8:20 - 8:42 the entire northern sky was pretty obscured in this wide angle view, but you can still see the red glow behind the clouds. It cleared up after that, and shows diminishing activity. Looks like a minor flarup near the horizon at 9:37, and by the last frame the sky had nearly returned to its normal gray hue.
17mm f/4 Select an image size for a larger view: 1290 x 960

17mm f/4 Select an image size for a larger view: 1290 x 960
 Here are a few selected images of this nights spectacular event, visible to the naked eye as a dull red glow along the horizon for hours, the Kp reached 9 for several hours and was elevated over 7 for the entire night.
Instrument: 17-40mmL Canon Lens with 10D at ISO800 Platform: Robotic Barndoor Exposure: 10 mins Filters: NONE Location: Payson, Arizona Elevation: 5100 ft. Sky: Seeing 5/10, Transparency: clear Outside Temperature: 40F Processing: Photoshop CS HOME SCHMIDT GALAXIES EMISSION NEBS REFLECTION NEBS COMETS GLOBULARS OPEN CLUST PLANETARIES LINKS 


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