Aurora and Ice
Early on this morning the aurora once again returned to the skies of Wyoming. I went out stargazing with low expectations of seeing it. Statistically March is the most geomagnetically active month of the year. Magnetic field lines from the sun have an easier time connecting with Earth in the weeks surrounding the equinoxes. It only takes a slight uptick in the solar wind or a brief southern tilt of the magnetic field for the northern lights to brighten up. That's what happened at 10PM, and again after 1AM. Most of the time it was a "deep-sky aurora," which means it was too dim to see with my eyes, but it showed up on camera with a long-exposure. Although it did barely cross the threshold of naked eye visibility when I watched pillars rise up and dance around for a few minutes. After melting during the day, the sound of new ice shifting and crackling echoed across Lake DeSmet on this frosty night.
- Kevin Palmer
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2019, Buffalo, Lake DeSmet, March, Wyoming, astronomy, astrophotography, aurora, aurora borealis, colorful, dark, faint, frozen, geomagnetic storm, green, hills, ice, icy, kevin palmer, midnight, night, nikon 50mm f1.4, nikon d750, north, northern lights, pillars, red, reflection, sky, space, spring, starry, stars
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