Monday, November 12, 2012

All In One Night!

Forecasts for November 7:

Aurora borealis would be active.
The weather would be fine, with clear sky at night.

I was thrilled to read about this, and my heart became wild with anticipations. I worked the whole day with thoughts of these inspiring me. I had my jobs completed at past three, but it was already dark at that hour here in the north. On my way home, I kept glancing at the sky to check out for the dancing lights. It was still too early for that.

The aurora flashed up around 10:00 p.m. I went out searching for the right  place to view and shoot it, but nowhere could I find some place dark enough to capture its luminance, nor could I find an open space to view its entirety.  Our neighborhood is packed with street lights that obstruct skyviewing, and towering trees that conceal low sky objects, like this aurora, which was low in the horizon. The perfect viewing place would be in the countryside open fields, but the roads were quite slippery on account of the frosts, and we haven't changed our car's tires for winter yet. So I just accepted it as a  "miss".

In a way, at least I had this little tryst with the northern lights again and was able to capture them in different phases.

Before that, while I waited in our backyard for the aurora to show up, the vibrant stars in the clear night sky enticed me to shoot them. I aimed my camera to Jupiter and its surrounding, and set the shutter to 60 seconds. Unexpectedly, two or three meteors zipped across the constellations within this time span, which the camera captured! So here in one little piece of sky, I was able to capture the planet Jupiter (that brightest point), some meteors, Auriga, Aldebaran in Taurus, the Pleiades and Perseus! What a find!

And then I took a few meters walk in the neighborhood toward one playground where I set my tripod for the shooting.  The lights were there behind the spruce trees, moving slowly from right to left. I took these pictures successively  at 60 seconds exposure each.

When the lights started to wane,  I aimed my lens near the zenith to capture Jupiter and the nearby constellations one more time.

I then pivoted the camera to where the aurora had been to take one last shot of the heavenly bodies in Ursa Major, particularly the Big Dipper whose outline was so vivid. The greenish soft glow of the aurora still lingered behind the spruce trees.

Oh, what a night! The astronomer in me skipped with joy as I gazed at those  marvels that bedecked the night sky. Once more, I've had a soulful rendezvous with my celestial pals who joined me in lauding the One who placed them there with his own fingers.

"Raise your eyes high up and see. Who has created these things? It is the One who is bringing forth the army of them even by number, all of whom he calls even by name. Due to the abundance of dynamic energy, he also being vigorous in power, not one of them is missing." (Isaiah 40:26)