Sunday, August 2, 2009

More Purdy Pictures

This is a selection of shots from July 16th to the 23rd. I took a bunch of photos as usual that will eventually end up on my flickr page. Until then, enjoy this small collection.
The following 4 photos were taking on the 16th of July. I decided to go out and take some shots of the telescope one night around 10pm so bundled up and headed to the scope. I was lucky enough to find some interesting wispy auroras when I arrived that were not visible from the station.

This is a shot looking back towards the station from SPT. The building on the left with the incredibly bright light is MAPO, it's where I took the pictures for the Moon civilization post, same night actually.

This is SPT. The dang thing was moving on me ruining my shots. I didn't really notice this at first until I started looking at the photos. The camera would freeze so I would go into SPT warm up, let the camera defrost and then go out and try again.

Notice the light aurora on the ride of the image. The building in the background is ICL, and that big bright ball int he sky is Jupiter ( or so I've been told).

This was taken on my way back to the station, by that time MAPO's light had been turned off. You can see the green haze that was present all around me. I've never seen an aurora that was sort of just a film across the sky. To the naked eye it looked cloudy, but it was actually the auroras.

The next three pictures were taken on the 21st of July around 11:30 or so.

It was quite dark outside and next to no aurora was visible to the naked eye. The sky was incredibly clear however and full of stars so I decided to go out and take some photos. They all turned out quite dark, but still pretty decent. This photo you can see a small meteor going through the milky way at the top of the image. And the large ball of light is again Jupiter.

Just the Milky Way with a slight aurora haze through it.

I decided to go out to ARO since I had never been there to take night photos, and I really wanted some photos of the LIDAR. This is ARO, the straight green light is the LIDAR, essentially a laser pointed at the sky. Cully has an insanely cool picture of the lidar on the station pointing up into a swirling sky of stars from a 25 minutes or so exposure. I'm sure it will be making it into the National Geographic Daily Dozen next month, and honestly as cool as it is, probably win. Not gonna tell him that though his head's too big already.

The next two images were taken the same "night" though technically were taken on the 22nd early in the morning. I went in to let the camera warm up and once it was good to go I came back out around 12:30am. The shots were completely blown out because the light was on at ARO and I didn't think it would be a good idea for me to go fiddling with switches in there until I found the right one to turn off the outside light. So I turned them into more moon shots. Something I am find works beautifully if you have over exposed images and bright light sources.

I love the flair effect, very spacey

I like this shot because of the large bright star sitting on the end of that pipe thinger on top of ARO.

The following 4 images were taken the same day the 22nd during the afternoon around 2:30pm.

The colors were incredible, I had never seen pinks so brilliant in the sky or my images. This is the Scott Tent folks put up to sleep in sitting next to the pole. The image confuses me because it looks incredibly crooked with the horizon, but the pole is vertical.

Just a nice shot of the crazy colors looking out into oblivion. There is nothing in that direction for 900 or so miles.

I also really wanted some shots with the dome, something I had not done either. So I made my way around the dome as carefully as possible. There are a bunch of very large drop offs that would suck to fall in. The hill to the left is the dome, a bit crooked but still a pretty cool picture.

And here's the dome, the big ball of light is again Jupiter. The plume you see in front of the station there is the exhaust from the power plant.

The next 4 images are from the same day again the 22nd, but this time between 11pm and 12ish am. I was doing my snow stakes that night, a very late start on them around 10pm when I noticed the craziest deep blue I had ever seen in the sky. it wasn't green, it wasn't turquoise, but blue. I had never seen that color before, it was so cool. I stood out there for a while just admiring the aurora when I started to think, hmm should go get my camera and capture this. But then I decided, no, I need to finish the snow stakes. They needed to get done. So I just kept working away at measuring the snow stakes when 15 minutes later it got quite bright and even cooler and I said, screw it, time to get the camera.

By the time I had made it inside, grabbed the camera, realized I forgot the battery, ran and grabbed the battery, realized I forgot the card, ran and grabbed the card the aurora had nearly dissipated. This is what I was able to capture of what was left. The pictures do what I saw earlier that night no justice, oh well.

This was not magically created in photoshop, the blues you see are real and were so much more amazing while I stood out there in awe.

That's ARO's blazing porch light.

So the aurora died away not long after this, I took the camera inside and finished the snow stakes. I then began to tell Krissie the story of the crazy auroras when she said Lance (the other meteorologist) just told her the auroras were crazy out there. He had just taken an ob. So to investigate I went out to the ob deck and checked, and wow the auroras came back and in full force!

So I grabbed the camera which had thawed out in the time it had taken me to complete the snow stakes and went back out. This was technically now the 23rd as it was 12am when I headed out. here is a sample of what I caught.

The sky was full of blues and purples, it was crazy.

This is a shot of what was directly over my head. I pointed the camera as straight up as I could. This is Krissie's favorite.

I like this simple image because of the drastic colors in the aurora. It looks to me like a flame, from a butane torch at the top tip, where it is the most blue.

I learned the next day from Cully when I told him about the crazy colors I saw the night before that what I was witnessing was the largest, strongest solar wind we would ever see this season. It was at the maximum strength( k value I think he said) and would never be that powerful again. Wow was I excited, I was out there for this event on accident!

This next shot was on the same day, though during the afternoon. I took a time lapse from this spot and made a little picture movie. The camera unfortunately froze up right when the aurora was getting strong. Cully had called out the aurora, but by the time I got out there it had nearly dissipated. Funny thing he said when I got there, "I know my camera is going to freeze right when the aurora picks up and gets strong". I laughed and said ya that would suck, and well guess what. My dang camera froze right when the aurora started to really get bright :{ Oh well. The video is really cool because I also caught greenhouse Joe in my pictures and you can see him taking photos and then walking back to the station with the headlamp.

This was the final image of the time lapse, this is right when the aurora started getting bigger and brighter. Oh well, guess I just have to come back down here again ;}

more photos to come...

No comments: