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Ursa Astronomical Association
Kopernikuksentie 1
00130 Helsinki
taivaanvahti(at)ursa.fi

Ursa Astronomical Association

Half-sky auroras - 31.8.2022 at 23.13 - 1.9.2022 at 00.05 Reine, Norja Observation number 109131

Visibility IV / V

Samuli Vuorinen, Kirkkonummen komeetta

I was on a summer vacation in Lofoten, Norway. 31.8. it was my last evening in the photogenic village of Reine, and the weather was about to clear up after the rain showers in the morning. Nights in northern Norway are quite short, and it didn't get really dark yet.

However, I followed the aurora borealis forecasts and was outside with the camera for quite a long time, but nothing could be seen in the direction of the Sakrisøy island in the north. Then I looked to the south and there in the direction I could see a dim arc in the pale sky. The arch can be seen in the seventh image of the observation.

I changed the shooting location and tried to get a suitable foreground for the pictures as the northern lights moved in the sky. Finally, the northern lights moved further north directly above Sakrisøy, and really started to brighten. The sky was already quite dark. I photographed the fires from the pier in front of my cabin. Shooting was a bit challenging, as there were several bright lights on the pier, and Samyang's 14mm lens is quite sensitive to lens flare from the lights. In the end, however, I managed to position the camera so that the lights did not interfere.

The northern lights were very lively for a long time, and moved quickly. At one point, the brightest belt broke up into a peculiar picket fence pattern, as shown in the sixth picture. When the show started to quiet down, I moved indoors to warm up and rest.



More similar observations
Additional information
  • Aurora brightness
    • Bright auroras
  • Observed aurora forms
    • Arc info

      ARC The arcs are wider than the bands and do not fold as strongly. The arcs are normally neither very bright nor active.

      The arc is probably the most common form of aurora. When aurora show is a calm arc in the low northern sky it often doesn’t evolve to anything more during night. In more active shows the arc is often the first form to appear and the last to disappear.

      The lower edge of the arc is usually sharp but the upper edge can gradually blend into the background sky. As activity increases rays and folds normally develop, and the arcs turn gradually into bands.

      An aurora arc runs across the picture. Vertical shapes are rays. Photo by Atacan Ergin.

      Aurora Arc. Photo by Mauri Korpi.

      Aurora Arc. Photo by Anna-Liisa Sarajärvi.

      Aurora Arc. Photo by Matti Asumalahti.

    • Corona info

      CoronaA corona is a hand fan shaped structure, it usually forms south of the observer's zenith, most commonly consisting of rays or bands. The corona is usually the most beautiful part of the aurora show. It is bright and active, but on the other hand also short-lived.

      Aurora corona. Photo by Anna-Liisa Sarajärvi.

      Aurora corona. Photo by Merja Ruotsalainen.

      Corona formed from bands. Photo by Markku Ruonala.

      Aurora corona. Photo by Tapio Koski.

    • Band info

      Bands are usually narrower, more twisty at the bottom, brighter, and more active than arches. Bands usually develop from arches.

      Bands can form J and U shapes, sometimes even full spirals. The corona can also arise from bands. Bands are a fairly common form of aurora.

      Aurora band. Photo by Merja Ruotsalainen.

      Aurora band. Photo by Matias Takala.

      Aurora band. Photo by Lea Rahtu-Korpela.

      Aurora bands. Photo by Lauri Koivuluoma.

      Aurora band. Photo by Matias Takala.

    • Rays info

      The raysare parallel to the lines of force of the magnetic field, i.e. quite vertical, usually less than one degree thick light streaks. The rays can occur alone or in connection with other shapes, mainly with arcs and bands. Short rays are usually brightest at the bottom but dim quickly. The longest rays, even extending almost from the horizon to the zenith, are usually uniformly bright and quite calm, and unlike the shorter rays, most often occur in groups of a few rays or alone. Rays, like bands, are a very typical form of aurora.

      Artificial light pillars, which are a halo phenomenon visible in ice mist, can sometimes be very similar to the rays of aurora. Confusion is possible especially when the lamps that cause the artificial light pillars are far away and not visible behind buildings or the forest. The nature of the phenomenon is clear at least from the photographs.

      Rays. Picture of Tom Eklund.

      Rays. Photo by Mika Puurula.

      Two beams rise from the aurora veil. Photo by Anssi Mäntylä.

      Two radial bands. Show Jani Lauanne.

      Radial band and veil. Photo by Jussi Alanenpää.

      Two rays. Photo by Aki Taavitsainen.

      It may be possible to confuse such rays with artificial light columns. Compare the image below. Picture of Tom Eklund.

      There is no aurora in this image, but all the light poles - including the wide and diffuse bar seen at the top left - are artificial light pillars born of ice mist. Photo by Sami Jumppanen.

      Aurora and artificial light pillars. All the radial shapes in the picture above are probably artificial light pillars that coincide appropriately with the aurora band. In the image below, the aurora band has shifted and does not overlap with the pillars produced by the orange bulbs. There is no orange in auroras. Photo by Katariina Roiha

    • Picket fence info

      A picket fence is a green form of aurora (northern lights) with short vertical beams.

      Picket fence often occurs under the purple-gray STEVE arc, but can also be an independent green radial arc.

      In the picture, the board fence is shown in the upper right corner under the STEVE arch. Photo by Sirpa Pursiainen

      The picket fens gets sometimes mixed up with normal green belt with rays. In Picket Fence, the individual rays are clearly separated from each other and the arc of the rays is clearly separated from the rest of the northern lights. The fences of the fence also do not form a single curtain extending up to the pole of the sky.

      Picket fence can also occur independently without a STEVE arc. The picture shows very well how the Picket Fence is separated from the rest of the northern lights and does not expand upwards. Photo by John Andersen

  • Colors with unaided eye and other features
    • Green auroras info

      Green, seen with the naked eye, is one the most common colors of the aurora. The green color is derived from atomic oxygen.

      Green auroras. Lea Rahtu-Korpela.

      Green auroras. Photo by Juha Ojanperä.

    • Red coloration of the shapes lower edge info

      Red lower edge visible with the naked eye. The bands which are starting to level up their activity and are green colored have quite often a narrow red lower edge. This is the most common form of red color which is derived from molecular nitrogen.

      Aurora band with purple lower edge. Photo by Ilmo Kemppainen.

      The low hanging brightest aurora band is colored red at the lower edge. Photo by Tero Ohranen.

      Narrow purple reddish tones at the lower part of this aurora band. Photo by Merja Ruotsalainen.

      Purple band at the bottom. Photo by Panu Lahtinen.

    • Streaming auroras info

      Streaming. In streaming aurora fast irregular variations in brightness occur along the horizontal dimension of homogeneous shapes.

Technical information

Canon EOS 60D, Samyang 14/2.8. Exposure times 3-4 seconds @ f/2.8.

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