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Friday, March 2, 2012

Aurora Australis

Typically the aurora appears either as a diffuse glow or as "curtains" that approximately extend in the east-west direction. At some times, they form "quiet arcs"; at others ("active aurora"), they evolve and change constantly. Each curtain consists of many parallel rays, each lined up with the local direction of the magnetic field lines, suggesting that auroras are shaped by Earth's magnetic field. Indeed, satellites show electrons to be guided by magnetic field lines, spiraling around them while moving towards Earth.The similarity to curtains is often enhanced by folds called "striations". When the field line guiding a bright auroral patch leads to a point directly above the observer, the aurora may appear as a "corona" of diverging rays, an effect of perspective.

The Earth is constantly immersed in the solar wind, a rarefied flow of hot plasma (gas of free electrons and positive ions) emitted by the Sun in all directions, a result of the two-million-degree heat of the Sun's outermost layer, the corona. The solar wind usually reaches Earth with a velocity around 400 km/s,

If your wondering what the brilliant green line is in some of the images, it belongs to a Lidar Lazer which is used to collect weather data at 60km altitude.

The images included here were taken using:
Canon 5D Mk11
Lens: Sigma 24-70mm
Focal Length: 24mm
Manual Focus
Exposure Bias: 0
F stop: f2.8
Shutter Speed: 25 - 30 sec
ISO: 320 - 800
White Balance: AWB
Manfrotto 475B Tripod with 3 way pan head.


  1. That first photo is perfecly framed Horse. What white balance setting do you use for Aurora photography?

    1. Thanks for the comment.White Balance for any of the Aurora that I've taken has been AWB. I'll add this info to the blog


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