Oct 2015

Oct 7 Aurora

In spite of more than a dozen alerts that I received Oct 6 and 7, the predicted aurora failed to develop into a display bright enough to be easily seen visually. Just a few faint rays were visible to the naked eye during the dark hours before midnight Oct 7 & 8. However farther north near the auroral oval, there was a spectacular display and even brightly-lit cities in arctic regions reported displays. It would have been disappointing locally, except that our sensitive DSLR cameras are much better at recording the colours than the human eye, and so it was a very nice "photographic display". I received images from Julian Delf (Annan) and reports from one or two other observers but generally not much activity was seen locally. At my usual lookout near the old Goodyear plant in OS, I was surprised by the amount of activity in this generally faint display, at least on camera. The display died out around midnight Oct 7 and by Oct 8 evening the activity index dropped back to more normal levels.

I attach the image sent by Julian Delf and a couple of mine as well. Note that these images represent what the cameras recorded and the colours were not visible to the naked eye except as dull pale greenish glows.
At my usual location at the old Goodyear boat launch, there was more than the usual quiet lapping of the waves. There were geese flying all night long and the honking provided an interesting audio accompaniment and a distraction from the two hour session with nothing to do but watch the camera do its thing.
John Hlynialuk
Note: Time lapse video of the display is available here: AURORA OCT 7

Julian's shot was a 16 s image with a Sony camera with 16 mm lens at f/2.8 and ISO 3200.


The three images below were 15 s exposures taken with a Canon 60Da, 15 mm f/3.5 lens and 3200 ISO