6/22/15: Aurora Borealis over Loveland Pass, CO

The following images and time-lapse were captured up on 11,990′ Loveland Pass, CO during a G4-class geomagnetic storm which allowed the Aurora Borealis to be viewed from southern latitudes that can’t usually see the aurora. I’ve been trying to capture something like this in Colorado for awhile, and it doesn’t happen too often.

The following image is a composite stitched from 15 vertical frames captured over the course of 4.5 minutes, during the start of peak of activity at approximately 2313 MST. It covers approximately 270° of horizon, and extends upwards about 40° into the sky (the lights of Hwy. 6 near Arapahoe Basin Ski Area can be seen in the lower left, the moon is above Loveland Valley Ski Area which lies behind the ridgeline, while 13,240′ Mt. Sniktau is the high peak at right, standing above the glow of the lights of Denver).


15-image panorama of Aurora over Loveland Pass, CO, 6/22/15. ©Jeff Warner PHOTOGRAPHIC


Timelapse compiled from images captured between 10:48 and 11:59 PM:


A sequence compiled into a ‘star trail’ image, showing the movement of the stars over the course of 40 minutes:

Star trails and Aorora Borealis, Loveland Pass, CO (6/22/15)

Star trails and Aorora Borealis, Loveland Pass, CO (6/22/15)


Lots of interesting stuff to be found hiding in these images (this is a 1:2 crop) : A) What appears to be a geostationary satellite (i.e. one that stays over the same point of the earth, but does move slightly); B) Either a meteorite or a piece of space junk burning up in the atmosphere; I looked up to see the this overhead, it was like a ‘flickering’ meteorite); C) A small meteorite; and D) Polaris, the ‘North Star’, not quite on the northern pole.


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