I am crazy busy today – but I just popped by my blog to show my readers an example of last night activity. The Kp-index was steadily around five, which at these latitudes is high (northern lights activity normally starts at Kp 2/3. Tonight there is a geomagnetic storm coming with an estimated strength of G1 (the scale goes from G0 – no activity to G5 where all hell breaks loose and satellites gets their curcuitboards fried and powergrids here on Earth fails).
Unfortunately there were strong winds and quite a bit of rain and partly cloudy yesterday. But still the build up to the storm was quite obvious in between the clouds!
The conditions are good! Clear skies and moderate particle stream from the sun, so my camera is set, my wool clothes are all ready. Tripod? Check! Extra battery? Check! Flash light? Check! All systems nominal. Go, no-go for northern lights! WE HAVE A GO FOR AURORA BOREALIS!
In the news today we saw that 45. million readers have seen the Facebook page for Visit Northern Norway – and yet again my friend Øystein Lunde Ingvaldsen lundeimages. com made the frontpage with one of his stunning photos, the very photo I got his permission to show here to the right! It is an absolute beauty of a northern lights shot! The photo is taken in Bø in Vesterålen (Boe in Vesteraalen) – the beautiful group of islands between Lofoten and the main land.
Incidentally exactly one year ago I was also shooting Aurora Borealis – Northern Lights photos. I recall the conditions were somewhat better than today, but still, I am not complaining. I shot a few, but this was – if not the best – the most interesting because of the perspective. The aurora is partly obscured by a cloud.
Aurora borealis is formed some 80 – 3-400 km above Earth Surface by charged particles from the sun that excites atoms in the ionosphere. When the electrons in the excited atoms falls back again to lower states of energy, they release the energy, from the collision with the particle from the sun, in the form of a photon which is the light waves/particles that we observe as light on our retina.