At 2008 hrs. last night I received CalSky.com’s aurora email alert, which seems to aways come at 3 in the morning. Until now, that is. Since the weather was pretty much severe clear, I thought I’d take a (long!) shot at capturing the aurora from Loveland Pass, one of my favorite night shooting locations. Although the aurora wasn’t easily spotted with the naked eye, basic astrophotography techniques rendered it visible to the north.
This first image is a 7-image stitched panorama captured in vertical orientation, looking northeast from the top of Loveland Pass. Loveland Basin Ski Area would be on the other side of the ridge line at center, while the lights of Dillon/Silverthorne brightly light a cloud, with the lights of Granby in the center-right distance. The reddish glow on the right horizon is the very edge of the aurora, which at the time wasn’t throwing any curtains of light. This is an 8000-pixel image that can be printed at 12×24″ at full resolution:
The following 9-frame time-lapse shows the red aurora on the northern horizon (right side of image), with subtle waves of red ‘curtains’ moving from right to left:
Sincere apologies for not having a longer time-lapse to show, I really wish I had a do-over on this one, as it was very difficult to see the aurora on the camera’s small display. Below are a few images of both the Milky Way and the aurora borealis:
This next image is looking north from Loveland Pass, the red veil of the aurora can be seen on the left horizon, while the lights of Denver illuminate a cloud above Mt. Sniktau, at right:
The southern Milky Way over Loveland Pass and Pt. 12,293 at 10:26 PM. The lights in the center of the image are three hikers descending the ridge line. Hopefully more to come on this one, shortly…
Looking toward Herman Gulch, northward from Loveland Pass, with the Aurora on the right horizon, somewhere over the Vasquez Wilderness: