Astro photography

northern lights and star trails

Aurora and Star Trails, March 17, 2015. There was a major geomagnetic storm on St. Patrick's Day that was witnessed far and wide. I set up my tripod mounted camera in the field in front of my home shortly after the sky got dark, and started taking 15 second photographs of the northern lights display as it evolved. In all, I collected images for over an hour.

I decided to combine all of the photographs taken that evening into one image, which shows the sum of the activity in the sky. The green and red colours in the sky are produced by the aurora. The star trails show the apparent movement of the stars in the sky during the hour or so of the image captures. At one point a car passed by on the rural road to the lower right, briefly lighting up the road.

This photograph was published in the June 2015 edition of the Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, and the August 2015 issue of Astronomy Magazine.

A single moment photograph taken at 10:22 p.m. is available here.

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Steve Irvine
484068 Cape Road
Georgian Bluffs, Ontario
Canada N0H 2T0
519 534 2175