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MoBambaNYC OP t1_jattrtf wrote

Taken during this last crazy solar storm. Shot on my a7iii and sigma 20mm 1.4 640 ISO .6 second exposure.

If anyone is interested in seeing some of my other shots, you can see some at this link.


sisment t1_jau1cph wrote

Where is this? Heading to Fairbanks in a week and hoping I see something like this!


MoBambaNYC OP t1_jau2i47 wrote

This is about 5 hours south of Fairbanks near Whittier. But there are plenty of spots in Fairbanks to catch the lights if the solar data is good


sisment t1_jau3dbl wrote

Thanks! It was kp 7 on 2/27 right? I think the nights I’ll be there it will be kp 2 :(. Do you think I’ll see anything?


MoBambaNYC OP t1_jau3qme wrote

Yup. The Kp really isn’t a good way to forecast the aurora as it’s a measure of previous activity. We like to look at solar wind speeds and the bz. When the BZ is negative with an elevated solar wind there will be aurora.

I’m an aurora guide in Alaska and have seen it every night I have gone looking for it this season. As long as the skies are clear and you can see stars you have a chance. Download the space weather live app


Tswiggle t1_jauz130 wrote

An aurora guide? I've never heard of it but it's already my dream job.


elevenhundred t1_jaxwbxc wrote

I've worked as an Aurora guide. Be prepared for long nights, driving in the dark, not having a real social life, losing out on way too many days of skiing, and basically never seeing the sun.


Tswiggle t1_jaxzl60 wrote

Okay, fair enough. Seems way less awesome now.


MoBambaNYC OP t1_jayc05l wrote

That is all true. It’s definitely a grind. December and January are the toughest. But The bonus is I only work 8 months a year


Ruralraan t1_javhrj7 wrote

Are they as vibrant so far up north as they look? We recently could see them here in northern Germany, but they weren't directly above us, but far away. They looked more like fog banks that twinkled sometimes far out at sea, and if you didn't know what to look for, you'd overlook them. They only looked a bit more colourful on photographes, and vibrant only when the photograph was reworked. To me in reality they didn't even look as greenish nor lilac as in the 2nd, non enhanced picture (yes the quality is bad, I shot it with a cellphone without tripod). But I heard the more north you go, the more vibrant the colors look.


fe-fi-fo-throwaway t1_javs34m wrote

Saw a few in Iceland but they weren’t perceptible as auroras with the naked eye. Saw one the same night as this picture in Seattle and they were noticeably green to the naked eye and brighter on a camera.


supermarkise t1_javzrt4 wrote

The bright ones absolutely are as bright as they look here on the picture. You'll have to be used to the low light levels, but I absolutely saw something like this image. It's much cooler in reality because the structure won't be as washed out and it'll be moving, sometimes really fast.


fe-fi-fo-throwaway t1_jawy2ny wrote

That’s pretty neat! I’d love to see bright auroras like the image one day, hopefully in other colors too. Regardless, it’s such a magical experience.


PMinisterOfMalaysia t1_jav5n5e wrote

>have seen it every night I have gone looking for it this season

What does looking for it involve other than going outside?


MoBambaNYC OP t1_jav6o15 wrote

Clear skies. No clouds. As little moon light and ambient as possible. And a few other factors. But mostly being away from light and clouds


PMinisterOfMalaysia t1_jb3hh7x wrote

Thank you! Downloaded the app you recomeded elsewhere & am hoping to see them in Sitka tonight


MoBambaNYC OP t1_jb3hqsq wrote

Best of luck to you. Should be pretty active tonight. Look for a negative -bz.


eolai t1_jawaa2w wrote

What counts as elevated for solar wind?

Every time I try to dig into aurora forecasts and reports, I just end up getting overwhelmed by all the different metrics. I wish one of the services would just do a "heads up, likely aurora tonight or tomorrow" notification, but instead it's all elevated Kp this and solar flare that.


MoBambaNYC OP t1_jaxvw3t wrote

Anything over 500 for solar wind speed. 20 density. It’s really not too complicated once you figure it out a little bit but at first all the scientific lingo can def be a bit overwhelming


reddog323 t1_javy581 wrote

I love the magenta hues, and I’ve never seen those before. Have those been more prevalent lately?


MoBambaNYC OP t1_jaw3hvu wrote

That specific night there reds were really intense., probably the reddest I’ve see. This is caused by denser solar winds creating aurora at really high atmospheric levels. Usually below the reds is where the whites form, so often you’ll get all sorts of reds/pinks.


yohoob t1_jay3nr0 wrote

I want to plan a trip to see something like this in person. What do you recommend for a trip to see this? Pick some nights and hope it shows?


MoBambaNYC OP t1_jay5p8o wrote

Basically it’s a total crap shoot. You wanna plan around a new moon if possible and elevated solar data.


blackoutxxxxxxxx t1_jauzekj wrote

I see aurora KP2 all the time, even bursts across the sky. and then sometimes it’s KP5 and I see nothing. it depends on a lot of factors


robinhoodhere t1_jauwwx2 wrote

Flights are so expensive for a spontaneous trip right now 😔


Of-Quartz t1_jawukcf wrote

Hijacking this thread to ask how Anchorage is? High high chance the spouse is getting a job there. What’s your favorite and most hated part?


MoBambaNYC OP t1_jaxw0yu wrote

Anchorage is like any other medium sized city in America. Except it’s more beautiful. Lol. Feel free to message me directly if you want to know any specifics


DiligentHelicopter60 t1_jav1wmz wrote

Let me rephrase. What was the duration of the storm?


Redd575 t1_javn83c wrote

Argh. I used to be up in Kodiak but I'm down in the continental US now. I follow the space weather forecast hoping for a decent CME to hit us on a clear night so I can finally see the aurora.


Palifaith t1_jatvh0w wrote

At this time of the year?!


MoBambaNYC OP t1_jatviqz wrote

Entirely contained in my kitchen even


comeallwithme t1_jau7v8c wrote

OP, the house is on fire!


Mikerinokappachino t1_jawrmlf wrote

Its too bright in Wasilla to get good photos like this, but the wife and I were outside looking at this that night as well


MoBambaNYC OP t1_jay0t3b wrote

Anywhere outside of Wasilla gets pretty dark quickly. Old Glenn is a good spit


Mikerinokappachino t1_jaymqsy wrote

Mother in law is out in Willow, shes got a great view as well.


MoBambaNYC OP t1_jayviyp wrote

Yeah it’s been killer out there lately as well. I was out there last night


BoeingBoeing77 t1_jaujub9 wrote

I used to live in the North West Territories, saw a few beauties like this. If you get out of town and watch the lights, you can actually hear them…no joke.


MoBambaNYC OP t1_jaum05k wrote

It’s true!


Existing-Strength-21 t1_jaup60b wrote

Can you describe what it sounds like? Is it a actual auditory thing or more of an energy/feeling?


MoBambaNYC OP t1_jav8462 wrote

To me it sounds like a cross between high tension power lines and a bee buzzing


Brilliant_Square_737 t1_jav4zjx wrote

I just googled it, and it sounds soooo fucking weird!! It’s like tweeting or aliens radio frequency.


BoeingBoeing77 t1_jay9mhh wrote

It sounds a bit like the hum from a fluorescent lightbulb….like a soft buzzing noise.


GreenIce2022 t1_jaunklg wrote

Does space music come from the heavens?


TACOSAREEPIC t1_javixjf wrote



GreenIce2022 t1_javtipw wrote

I don't know if you've ever been in a planetarium, but sometimes there's like this odd, lasery space alien music. BoeingBoeing77 says you can hear them so I wondered if it sounded like laser space music (in a joking way).


MoBambaNYC OP t1_jay0xh6 wrote

I always have my own music going. Usually some above and beyond trance type stuff


shartillery82 t1_jau95oe wrote

One of many reasons I take psilocybin, I get the northern lights in Ohio.


MoBambaNYC OP t1_jaufnk5 wrote

This particular night the lights were visible in Ohio actually. I even saw someone post photos as far south as Death Valley with some visible aurora. It was quite the treat


shartillery82 t1_jauh7lj wrote

Dang it!!! I left Ohio when the Coco hit to live on the road! I missed it


Fumblefunk_M t1_jauq4ws wrote

This makes me want to scream. In a good way, like our ancestors intended.


Zurrdroid t1_jaytrba wrote

With a swelling triumphant nordic orchestral score playing in the background.


Time-to-go-home t1_jav0rob wrote

They were great on Sunday night. I got some photos of them directly above me. Not sure if I can post here because there’s no “earth” in the photo


MoBambaNYC OP t1_jav8bau wrote

Ahh yeah the rules can be a bummer sometimes. Especially when you get killer corona direct over head!


blackoutxxxxxxxx t1_jauzakb wrote

I was there, in Fairbanks. it was insane! feel so lucky to have seen it


MoBambaNYC OP t1_jav85zs wrote

Definitely got lucky with being there at that time. It was one of the strongest storms in years


MetroidJunkie t1_javcm7w wrote

Well, Alaska, you are an odd fellow, but I must say, you steam a good ham.


flingelsewhere t1_jaukbjx wrote

Having never seen the aurora in person myself, how would you compare your picture to seeing in person? Was it more/less visible?


MoBambaNYC OP t1_jault6t wrote

On the average night your camera is gonna see it better, on a really strong night your eyes see it better. It has to do with the rods in our eyes at night we don’t see color really well unless it is bright. Think of driving down a dark road all the cars looks dark until your headlight hits it, then you can see the color. But you not seeing the colors well is an optical illusion of sorts because the camera is capturing what’s actually there. The flip side is on a bright night like this one, your eyes see it better because the camera can only absorb so much info to its sensor before it turns everything white, what we call blowing out. This particular night the reds were so vibrant from the super dense solar winds that Ray Charles could have seen them.


op_timus t1_javz7vx wrote

This is confusing me, wouldn't you just turn the exposure down to stop the aurora blowing out?


MoBambaNYC OP t1_jaw38eb wrote

You try to, typically an aurora shot on an average night is 3-5 seconds. When it starts moving around even less because you want to capture the motion and if you leave the shutter open it just turns into a blob of color. This specific photo the exposure time was 6/10th of a second, and I had to lower the whites and highlights considerably in post to keep them from blowing out. When the aurora gets this bright, it’s like pointing your camera at a full moon basically.


miiucky t1_javl1i8 wrote

Delightfully devilish OP


BCGrog t1_jauphqp wrote

Beautiful photo thank you for posting this. Are you OK that I download it for a wallpaper?:



jinohop101 t1_javer1d wrote

Aurora Borealis?! At this time of year, at this time of day, in this part of the country, localized entirely within your kitchen?!


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david-bowies-buldge t1_jauwctq wrote

I just started a new job where I have to be up at 5/getting used to the new schedule and I am so mad I missed these!


MoBambaNYC OP t1_jav88n6 wrote

You can def catch em early morning sometimes too maybe you’ll get lucky and see them on your way into work!


satchel_of_ribs t1_javcbvu wrote

I want to see a good, proper, ribbon aurora sometime but the opportunities for them seem to always happen when it's either far to cloudy to see anything or when I have to go to bed early because of work. I got to see a small glimpse last sunday before I had to go to bed. First time I've ever seen it (that I can recall as mom is positive they've showed me it before).


UT728 t1_javle1k wrote

All the radiation……it beautiful and scary at the same time…


grad1939 t1_jaw49ah wrote

Makes me hungry for steamed hams.


LaLuzdeAbigail t1_jaw90lq wrote

This is an incredible shot! Thanks for sharing!!


crankyape1534 t1_jawbysa wrote

Great photo. I imagine seeing this in person though is beyond amazing.


AeonDisc t1_jawnm6y wrote

I'll never regret naming my daughter Aurora 😍


healthcrusade t1_jawtste wrote

Does it really look like this in person?


BeardlessNeckbeard t1_jawvx3e wrote

Gotta ask OP, could you see colors with the naked eye?

I saw the northern lights for the first time this week. My camera could see the colors so well, but mostly looked white to the naked eye where I was! Sometimes a pale green.


LSDREAMN t1_jawxrwo wrote

I envy you during such a wild time around the solar flares !! Gorgeous photo.


jerrysburner t1_jawz9tg wrote

Is there a time of night, Alaska time, that is best to see Aurora?


Ok_Cantaloupe8391 t1_jaxa5o8 wrote

Gods, the aurora borealis is one of the most beautiful things on earth. Amazing picture!


Sora3582 t1_jaxf06e wrote

Heard if you take a picture with a special camera you can see a whole city up there


master_redwit t1_jaxfo9n wrote

Hey just saw your post on r/EarthPorn. I am planning to Visit in late April. I saw that you are an Aurora Guide. Do you do personal tours too? Thanks :)


extraxdx52 t1_jaxgl29 wrote

The bright ones absolutely are as bright as they look here on the picture. You'll have to be used to the low light levels, but I absolutely saw something like this image. It's much cooler in reality because the structure won't be as washed out and it'll be moving, sometimes really fast.


awowa99 t1_jaxyovg wrote

Wait I’m not over Alaska


ApprovedSwag t1_jay9ia9 wrote

My son and I are planning a trip to Fairbanks just to see this. I’m just afraid that the conditions won’t be perfect to see it


hikekorea t1_jaybdd1 wrote

Looks like Portage Lake. Beautiful shot!


louderharderfaster t1_jaykkj0 wrote

I saw a brief AB moment last year just south of Portland. What stunned me more than the colors (silver, purple, pink and blue) was how it was shaped and moved like an entity - a cylinder with uniform flags rolling with it before it faded into a cloud. My SO had just died and he obsessed with night skies - I could not help thinking it was from him.

It may have been the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.


alt52 t1_jb0e64i wrote