So I was out getting groceries Saturday morning when I got a call from my buddy at SpaceWeather.com, Dr. Tony Phillips. The good Doctor informed me of a large Solar wind heading our way and to expect Auroras. Great, no clouds but we have a huge 90% Full Moon out that night, usually you can't see any Auroras when the Moon is out in full force, takes away the contrast.
Thought I'd head out that night anyways and much to my surprise I was able to get some Aurora shots. Bonus I took a shot of the almost full Moon and Orion rising in the east, like a sleeping giant come to life, yes our friend Orion is back, so are the cold temperatures he brings with him, man was it cold, -10c, well I mean cold for this time of year, especially since I was wearing a summer jacket. Got some Aurora shots then thought to myself, hey I'll come back after the Moon sets , which was going to be around 4:00 am, I should get some even better shots.
At that time the Aurora (above image) was almost over so I thought I'd head out of town to see what I could see Aurora wise, but get this, I ran into a train, yes at 4:15 am I ran into a train, well not into it but you know what I mean.
So I'm looking to see how long it is, great not long, it just seemed long because it STOPPED! That's right it stopped, got out of the car to take a pic of it stopped, and then guess what happened?, a truck pulls up behind me, all this at 4:15 am. I was going to take a pic of the truck but thought twice when I saw the look on the guys face, about as happy as me.
After half an hour of the train stopping it started to move, of course by then it started to get light outside, I just went home.
An interesting tidbit of info here, seems they may have just found out why the Auroras dance with the help of the "THEMIS MISSION" or " Time History Of Events And Macroscale Interactions During Substorms Mission" for long, those crazy scientists and their acronyms. To sum it up, apparently the Solar wind's charged particles stretch our magnetic field much in the same way you stretch an elastic band, when the magnetic field can no longer stretch it flicks back the Solar plasma, which they call Plasma Bullets back to Earth, the explosion gives off it's energy in the form of harmless light energy, the crazy lights we call the Auroras.
I'll leave you now with a clip of 72 images I took over a time frame of 40 minutes of the Auroras I took that night, I also put a sample message from Dr. Tony at the beginning, doesn't he sound like a friendly guy?