Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Chasing the Aurora

Looking across Buzzards Bay
There was a notification that solar flare would hit the earth on November 2nd and 3rd with levels that should make it visible as far south as Pennsylvania.  We spent the portion of both nights looking for the Aurora.  The first night was at Gooseberry and the second night was half at the stone barn and half at Gooseberry.
Orion and Pleiades at the Stone Barn
On the first night, although it was supposed to be clear clouds moved in which in themselves gave interesting patents in the sky.  We observed Orion rising and chasing the Pleiades.

Orion and Pleiades
Along with a number of bright meteors probably due to the southern Taurids and possibly the Orionids.  When trying to photograph meteors.  The hardest part is to determine where in the sky that they will appear.  The maps show the radiant point, where the meteor showers originate from.  However, they can be anywhere in the sky.  Knowing the radiant point, you try to be 45° off the radiant point and hopefully capture a meteor in your photo.  In fact, tonight November 4, the South Taurids peak and they are known to produce exceptionally bright meteors known as fireballs.  Over the two days, we saw a good number of very bright meteors.  However, I only captured one meteor in the two nights of shooting.
One Meteor above Orion
At Gooseberry, looking north, I photographed a couple of 15-minute-star trails both nights.  The first night. The lower portion of the photograph was burnt out because of light pollution.
Star Trails
Star Trails
The waning Crescent moon appears over the Western horizon, illuminating a portion of the sky and the ocean waters with an orange glow.  On the second night photographing the rising of the moon and adjusting the pictures in Lightroom and Photoshop, we could see the Aurora that the camera captured even though we could not see it with our naked eyes.
Rising Waning Crescent Moon with Clouds in the Sky
The temperature range from the high 40s to the low 50s and there was practically no wind, and it was comfortable being out photographing.