Aurora borealis

Aurora borealis lights up Lower Mainland skies on Friday evening

Unlike a popular scene from an episode of The Simpsons where Principal Skinner misled Superintendent Chalmers into believing the aurora borealis were localized entirely inside of his kitchen, stargazers across much of North America could see them with relative ease last night.

A large solar storm Friday evening interfered with the Earth’s own magnetic field creating sheets of shimmering green and magenta waves high into the atmosphere.

I ventured out into South Delta near Boundary Bay near 11:00 pm to get a glimpse of the rare event. Initially, it was disappointing, just a faint band of pale streaks before intensifying and expanding across the darkened sky. I mounted my Nikon D610 on a tripod, connected a remote release, adjusted the ISO to 800, set the f-stop to f/8 and used Bulb mode to control how long the shutter remained open. Here are the results.

The spectacle is expected to continue this evening according to Space Weather Canada.

Don’t have a fancy DSLR? Apple and Google have some guides for snapping pictures at night using their mobile devices.


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