Aurora With a Touch of Moonlight
Faster and faster the wind gusted, until it was blowing 700km a second - solar wind that is. The solar wind carries an embedded magnetic field from the sun. When it's oriented northward, it gets repelled by Earth's magnetic field. But when the solar wind is oriented southward, that's when things get interesting. The magnetic fields of the Earth and the Sun connect to each other and charged particles are funneled into the upper atmosphere. Collisions with air molecules emit the light that makes up the aurora. After monitoring solar conditions, I went out as soon as the data looked favorable. While I've captured the northern lights over Steamboat Point before, I've been waiting for a chance to try this viewpoint further away. The moon setting in the west was lighting up the cliffs with a warm glow. As the moonlight faded, the aurora brightened, until it broke out into these red and green pillars shortly before midnight.
- Kevin Palmer
- Image Size
- 5980x3987 / 13.0MB
- Contained in galleries
- Wyoming, Night Sky, Recent Work