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Icelandic Aurora 26th October

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markt
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« on: October 31, 2010, 02:38:26 pm »

Greetings everybody!

Back from a week in Iceland now.  Didn't get as many aurora as I would like (well I would like them every night!) - the best aurora was on the saturday night / sunday morning (23rd/24th), however we were delayed on departure from Heathrow airport by over 12 hours, and so by the time we reached our hotel it was past 4am on the sunday morning.  However got some really nice views of it, briefly, whilst waiting outside the airport for our shuttle bus, also got some good views of it from the bus window as we drove to the hotel - despite the near full moon! 

Then as you might expect followed a couple of days of cloudy weather, however on the tuesday night whilst eating at a restaurant could see auroras dancing away out of the window.  Meal was wolfed down needless to say, we paid our bill and left.  On the walk back to the hotel we watched it again through the bright city lights.  Stopping back at the hotel to grab the cameras and tripods and to tog up with the clothing we departed for the sea defences at the bay away from the city lights.

Needless to say when we setup the aurora pretty much disappeared - the kp had been at 1 but rose to kp2.  A KP1 in iceland (in my eyes anyway) manifests itself as a diffuse green arc to the northern horizon, which is how tonights aurora started off, then rising to KP2 this went to a bright green arc, easily visible to the naked eye in dark skies.  Brief periods of KP3 led to a brighter arc with dancing rays and bands.  My past (icelandic) experience is that as the KP gets higher the aurora just gets larger and brighter!  Moon was pretty much full but this didn't really matter too much.

The following video represents about an hours worth of aurora condensed into a minute.  Taken with my Canon 350D, iso 800, 30 second exposure taken one after the other, sigma 10mm f4 lens.  Processed through windows movie maker.



I think I may have to give some of my other aurora files the same treatment as to me they retain their quality a bit better than gif files do. 

Hope you like it!

Mark Smiley
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Paul
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« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2010, 02:59:57 pm »

Now that's very good Mark! Never been to Iceland - must get there sometime.

Paul.
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Anton
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« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2010, 04:19:32 pm »

Very impressed Mark, it must have been a wonderful experience to watch one of natures spectacular light displays. When the video reaches around 14sec you can see the lights really get brighter, great display. 

Thanks

Anthony

www.redditchweather.com
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rjgjr
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« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2010, 04:23:57 pm »

Very nice viDeo Mark. The show really gets going about the 55 sec mark when the aurora really begin to curtain and wave. Took a bit to get oriented to the sky but then found Ursa Major and all was well. Good job!
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martinastro
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« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2010, 07:29:07 pm »

That looks good to me Mark!, you can see the shape shifting and pulsing of the green band and a few curtains as the KP rose, the video works very well. Hard to beat a 10mm lens for that kind of photography!. Thanks for the account which was very interesting to read, sorry to hear about the cloud troubles during the stronger nights. At least you saw the aurora and even saw it through the clouds - that's always a special sight  Smiley
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markt
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« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2010, 10:46:27 pm »

Thanks for all the kind words guys!  Much appreciated!  Smiley

There's not many nights there's not an aurora in Iceland, problem is the weather - there was a couple of the 'clear' nights when I was there I knew there were auroras like the ones I photographed here, however the wind was so strong it would simply blow the camera and tripod over.  Even if I weighed it down the shake and buffeting from the wind would render the image useless - I know, i've tried it there before!  I can cope myself with the cold and wind - have all the proper arctic clothing, however the camera can't!  Roll Eyes

You guys in NI are lucky to have those dark skies you do, looking at the pictures Martin and Connor have been getting of late with those superb photogenic locations its only a matter of time before you have some front page Spaceweather aurora shots! Wink  With the grotty skies here in the west midlands it will be one of those once in a solar cycle aurora that I get down here.  Still, i'm greatful for what I get aurora wise when I go to iceland, not sure when i'm going agaim (would be tomorrow if it was up to me!) - I quite fancy going summer time to see the place in a different season, however with near 24hrs of daylight would be no aurora...  With the sun so low in the sky now I think i'm going to turn my imaging towards the moon and Jupiter till the new year comes and the sun starts rising in the sky again.

It's all good fun!!!  Grin
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paulster78
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« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2010, 11:29:29 pm »

Excellent vid Mark, you can see the aurora movement very well there-hope you get back soon.  Smiley
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