Thursday, July 19, 2012

The best of northern lights of 2011-2012

Last winter's aurora borealis season got a head start in September after and X2 class eruption on Sun hurled charged particles into Earth.

Revontulien ensikajastus
(Panorama of three vertical images, projected as Panini to give an exaggerated sense of perspective without stretching the image.)

Revontulivyö heijastuu tyynen järven pinnasta

Revointulikiekura Siilinjärven yllä

The northern lights even surpassed the light pollution and covered most of the sky:

Revontulet kirkkaimmillaan

Couple of weeks later another particle shower hit Earth, producing even brighter display of aurora borealis. As you can guess, the sky was mostly cloudy. Typical Finnish weather. Here's, however, one spherical panorama from that night just before the cloud cover filled the sky:

Aurora borealis of 27-09-2011 part 2 in Finland Next time the light show would be seen in the beginning of year 2012. In late January, matter hurled from sunspot AR1401 sparked this show of green lights: Revontulia illalla 22-01-2012
Revontulia illalla 22-01-2012 Revontulia illalla 22-01-2012
Couple of days later we went photographing the light show to Kuopio's Oinosenmäki, 200 meter tall hill, remote enough that the light pollution wouldn't be a big problem: Oinosenmäki radar station, Kuopio in Finland The borealis was only a lone band of green when we showed up there, so I could expose each frame for couple of minutes. That phallic tower is a weather radar station. Oinosenmäki revontulipanoraamassa Orionista tutka-asemalla kattava panoraama, revontulet valaisevat ympäristön Sadly, the photo op was interrupted by thick cloud cover. However, the brightest show of aurora of the winter was only to come yet. In the beginning of March, last month before the skies would be too bright to photograph northern lights, this show was seen, started by this mellow band of green light moving lazily towards the eastern horizon: Revontulikiekura ja Kuun valossa kylpevä latu Couple of minutes after this image was shot the sky would explode into various shades of green and red. Revontulet räjähtävät täyteen kirkkauteensa Explosion of color, northern lights 2012-03-07 in Finland The show was seen in most parts of Finland as you can see in this map compiled by Taivaanvahti web service. Couple of nights later this timelapse was shot. It was the last sightning of northern lights for that season.

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