14 November 1998: Laramie, Wyoming
This was the first display I photographed after my
Laramie Aurora Visibility Alert started to get significant
regional publicity, and an alert was in effect this night.
(Again, keep in mind that the date is for UT, so in reality
all of these photos are from the 13th of November MST.)
I had been monitoring on-line data, which indicated marginal
conditions for an aurora display, and at about 9:30pm I finally
drove out to my dark site for a look.
All times are UT (subtract 7 hours for MST):
- 4:37 - could see glow from car as soon as I got to the edge of town
- 4:47 - weak glow below 10 degrees centered ENE; windy, windy, windy!
- 4:55 - #3 30s, 35mm f/4 traffic
- 4:56 - #4 60s, developing 15 degree ray NNE; faint glow up to 10-15
degrees and bright band around 7 degrees
- 4:58 - several rays, too much traffic!!!! [At 10pm on a weeknight
there's usually very little traffic on this road, but there was a lot
- 4:59 - #5 45s, several rays up to 15-20 degrees; not really bright, but nice
- 5:00 - #6 45s, few clouds but dark
- 5:02 - #7 30s, switched to f/2.8
- 5:03 - sig brightening low near bearing 030, still mucho traffic
- 5:05 - #8 30s
- 5:05:30 - #9 30s, red above 10 degrees?
- 5:07 - weaker, but bright patch at bearing 020, lull in traffic
- 5:08:30 - #10 30s, possible faint ray to 20 degrees NE, wind down
- 5:12 - geting bright low
- 5:14 - 120s, on a different roll of film and camera
- 5:17 - #11 30s, back to Royal Gold 1000, more activity
- 5:26 - #12 60s, pretty weak now and wind is up again
- 5:37 - rays developing again but traffic, shooting from inside car
[It was windy, so I set things up so that I could reach out of the
car and take photos.]
- 5:38 - #13 30s, major ray to 20 degrees bearing 020, plus general
brightening, very rapid development
- 5:39:30 - several rays to 20, but traffic
- 5:40:10 - #14 20s, rays to 20, and then more activity N-NNW
- 5:41 - fainter, max altitude was 25 degrees
- 5:43 - #15 20s, several pencil beams to 20 degrees
- 5:44:30 - #16 45s, more modest now
- 5:49 - weak, thinking about going home
- 5:51 - leaving
Here are photos 5, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, all on Kodak Royal
Gold 1000 with a 35mm lens with exposure lengths and starting
times given above. Notice how promenently the Big Dipper
figures into the photos. Photo #13 is my favorite. As usual,
keep in mind that the colors are more vivid on the photos than
with the unaided eye, but the amount of detail is similar.
These photos give a good idea of what a "MEDIUM"
Laramie Aurora Visibility Alert forecast will
ideally represent in terms of a display, if you have a
dark observing site.
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aurora photos index
File last modified: 01 December 2004