Possible northern lights tonight!

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KatieWillis's picture
Joined: 07/01/07
Posts: 1441
Possible northern lights tonight!

Because of the solar flares that are headed our way, we might see some awesome northern lights tonight! Well, us that are up north anyway. I'm in eastern WI and normally we couldn't see them this far south, but they're forecasting that we might! I'm a science geek, so I'm totally pumped! Lol

I'm really wanted to take pictures of them!! Any tips? I've never taken night shots before. Stephanie, I know you posted a night sky shot a while ago.

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

Get a tripod. I used my self timer (I don't have a remote shutter release), because my SS was so low, just pressing the button created camera shake. I did a long exposure, so I upped my ISO, and had probably about a 15 second exposure. I've come across some amazing night shots on Flickr. Do a search and check out their settings (if possible). It'll give you a good idea of what to set yours at. Noiseware was my friend. I'd also check your white balance. Mine was still set to cloudy, so I had a ton of color correction to do in PP.

I wonder if I'll be able to see them down here (central IL). I'm going to have to check into it Smile

KatieWillis's picture
Joined: 07/01/07
Posts: 1441

You might! They're supposed to be huge.

I'll have to do a flickr search and see what I can find.

momof5sweeties's picture
Joined: 02/08/06
Posts: 525

Thank you for posting this Katie! I don't watch/ listen to the news, so I had no idea this was a possibility tonight. My kids have no school tomorrow, which makes it a perfect opportunity to take a little road trip to a rural area for a light show! Is there a certain time that is suggested to watch for the lights?
Here is some info I found with a quick search.. http://ham.space.umn.edu/aurora.html

This one looks like much better for photo tips.. http://www.alaskaphotographyblog.com/how-to-photograph-the-northern-lights-with-a-digital-camera/

KatieWillis's picture
Joined: 07/01/07
Posts: 1441

"momof5sweeties" wrote:

Thank you for posting this Katie! I don't watch/ listen to the news, so I had no idea this was a possibility tonight. My kids have no school tomorrow, which makes it a perfect opportunity to take a little road trip to a rural area for a light show! Is there a certain time that is suggested to watch for the lights?
Here is some info I found with a quick search.. http://ham.space.umn.edu/aurora.html

Thanks for the link! There's some good examples of settings!

It sounds like there was some last night and there should hopefully be some still tonight. I read that the best time will be around midnight. We live in the country, so I'm hoping I can just keep checking out our windows. I'm crossing my fingers I see some! I've lived in MN/WI my entire life and never seen them!

momof5sweeties's picture
Joined: 02/08/06
Posts: 525

I just added another link that seems a little more informative/ up to date. We are about 30 minutes north of the Twin Cities. From what I've been reading, it looks like we may be able to see them from here. I'm just worried about light pollution. I think we're going to drive to Duluth though, just to increase our chances. The kids will love a little surprise overnight in a hotel! I've never seen them either, so exciting! haha

Joined: 10/26/01
Posts: 3409

How exciting! Be sure and share with the rest of us if you manage any shots of the lights tonight!

*fingers crossed* for you guys!

GiGi

tialee80's picture
Joined: 02/04/12
Posts: 394

I'm in WI if I see it I will give it a try. Thanks:)

DrakePlusOne's picture
Joined: 06/29/09
Posts: 1889

I hope you ladies get some good pics tonight. I've always wanted to see them too, but it's VERY rare in Ohio. I'll live vicariously through you that get lucky. Wink

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

Yeah, I don't think we'll be able to see it here. I heard that I probably could have seen it last night though.

KatieWillis's picture
Joined: 07/01/07
Posts: 1441

It's cloudy Sad I'm going to stay up a little longer to see if it clears up, but I am soooo sleepy! Boy will be up at 5am!

yellow.rose.of.canada's picture
Joined: 01/13/10
Posts: 1173

I live in northern British Columbia so we're lucky to get northern lights on a semi regular basis. I'm going to check out the tutorials to see if I can get some shots one of these days!

KatieWillis's picture
Joined: 07/01/07
Posts: 1441

"yellow.rose.of.canada" wrote:

I live in northern British Columbia so we're lucky to get northern lights on a semi regular basis. I'm going to check out the tutorials to see if I can get some shots one of these days!

YES! YES! YES! I can't wait to see!!

KatieWillis's picture
Joined: 07/01/07
Posts: 1441

Anyone see anything? I looked around 10pm and the skies had cleared, but there wer no northern lights. I looked again at 1130pm when DS1 woke up to use the bathroom, still nothing.

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

I didn't even try. I didn't think I'd see them.

Muddee's picture
Joined: 03/13/08
Posts: 2119

I was hoping to see them but the sky was really over cast so no such luck.

momof5sweeties's picture
Joined: 02/08/06
Posts: 525

I saw them! They weren't very colorful to the naked eye, possibly because of the full moon. But, some colors showed up in my photos. We watched the skies from midnight to 2:30. The coolest part was seeing the "pulsing" of light in the sky.
As for photographing them... I realized on the way up to Duluth that I had forgotten to grab my camera remote, but figured I could still get some good shots. Then when we were almost there, I remembered that I had taken off the little adapter that attaches my camera to my tripod, and didn't have that with either. I did remember my tripod, but it did me no good without that piece. Sad It's bad news trying to hand hold a camera when ss is 30 seconds. So everything is blurry, but I'm still glad I got them.
There was another storm that hit, and should be sending some more good views our way tonight. Here's a link to a site that has great info about when/where to see them: http://astrobob.areavoices.com/

cazzoom's picture
Joined: 06/22/02
Posts: 1315

Did anyone get any shots? Would love to see them

Cazz