– Ben Martens

Northern Lights

We live just far enough north that sometimes there are hints of the northern lights, but our house is in the middle of the suburbs and there’s so much ambient light that we can barely see the stars, much less the northern lights. However, back on May 10, there was a severe geomagnetic storm and we could see it from our back yard!

I went out around 11pm when it was fully dark and honestly, if I hadn’t known it was there, I would have missed it. It wasn’t intense enough to be immediately obvious and it looked like oddly shaped clouds. But the longer I looked, the more I could see hints of green and purple. Our phone cameras took really nice pictures in “Night Sight” mode which takes multiple exposures and combines them. So while this is nowhere near what it looked like it real life, the pictures look pretty.

I’ve always wondered how fast the aurora moves because so often you see videos of timelapses. It moved fast enough that within a couple minutes, the shape looked very different, but it wasn’t fast enough that I could see a change if I kept staring at one spot.

I would still love to see it from farther north in a more remote area, but this was pretty special for zero effort!