Home of the Northern Lights
By Jan Curtis
These images are intended for non-commercial, educational uses and are
copyrighted (1998, Jan Curtis).
High Altitude Aurora
With every aurora display, the camera captures a completely unexpected formation or man made lighting which lights the foreground in perfect harmony with the background aurora. Enjoy these images of contrast and beauty. All taken with the same film and settings during the major aurora storm on 18-19 October below.
November 8, 1998.
country road...lit by house lights
Leonid Fireball...Taken approx. 6:40PM AST, 16 NOV 98 (-2 mag meteor with breakup in initial track). Meteor in field for 4 seconds and continued for 2 add'l secs. Total exposure 10 secs from meteor's first appearance.
During a major aurora storm on 18-19 Oct 1998 and again on 7-8 Nov 1998, I had the opportunity to catch the rare red aurora and full corona over Fairbanks. All exposures were under 10 seconds except for the corona images which were made at 2 to 4 seconds. The camera settings were: 35 mm lens @ f1.4. I used the Kodak negative print film PJM-2 (Ektapress, multi-speed film, developed at ASA 640).
Contrasts show how the aurora changed in less than 5 seconds:
Detailed rays are shown below:
The Great Convergence of rays; also known as the corona:
corona2, color corrected
corona3...multiple colored!!! Presented to the Prime Minister of Japan in May 1999. NASA's APOD...11 Nov 1998
Finally, if aurora is visible at twilight, then a great display is certain: Nov 7, 1998
twilight, color corrected
Photos taken 18 October 1998, 08:40PM, 8:50PM, and 9:10PM looking SSE, discontinued PJM-2 35mm, f/1.4, 8 secs, 640 ASA. My 1st red aurora photos.
Red Aurora. Major Aurora Storm (note red colored snow)
Red Aurora. Note Variety of Colors
Red Aurora. Note pale band and patch
Auroral above smoke, taken 2 October 1998, evening looking E, PJM-2 35mm, f/1.4, 5 secs, 640 ASA. Smoke from Eastern Asia Forest Fires creates red horizon as nearly full moon rises (behind trees)
Auroral Bands, taken 1 October 1998, evening, looking NW, PJM-2 35mm, f/1.4, 10 secs, 640 ASA. Pictures taken a few minutes apart. Foreground lit by garage lights.
Broad Drape, taken 28 September 1998, with some color, 35mm, f/1.4, 8 secs, 400 ASA. Note Big Dipper.
Isolated Ray. Note Jupiter as camera faces south.
Clouds, Moon, & Sky Glow from City Lights, taken in September 1998, 35mm, f/1.4, 10 secs, 400 ASA. Note aurora shines brightly despite natural and manmade interferrence. NASA's APOD...2 Nov 99
Taken 31 August 1998, 9:50PM-9:55PM, 35mm, f/1.4, 5 secs, 400 ASA,
Converging bands, caused by drapes formations as seen almost vertically edge on.
Drape taken in March 1998,
and colorful Rays (1), Rays (2).
Taken 1 March & 9 March, 1998. Left exposure 30 seconds (note green colored snow), right exposure 12 seconds (note moonlit colored snow), 35 mm lens @ f/1.4, Kodak Royal Gold 400.
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Last updated: 30 April, 2001