So, i tagged all my digital Northern Lights images from the past 22 years (in my photo archive), in order to list the highlight images here. Some major, others just faint. Not all of them of high quality, but some are...

It was in Oct 2000 i bought my first digital camera, a (3MP) Kodak DC 4800 compact camera, which had the advantage of being unusual wide with 28 mm, where almost all other cameras had lenses which were only 35-38 mm at the widest. Which isn't particularly wide, but rather more like a wide normal lens. The camera was a noisy one as soon you would raise the ISO. Already at ISO 400 it was a disaster...

 

17-18 Aug 2001

This was the first time I was able to see Northern Lights over Stockholm with a digital camera.



 

11 Oct 2001

This was what looked like a minor outbreak, yet still enough to overpower the extreme bright street lights along the Nynäsvägen Highway where I lived.

 

6 Nov 2001

MAJOR OUTBREAK - and by far one of the biggest I had experienced since 2001. What made it so special where the red auroras which there were plenty of. However, remember that red auroras do not look as bright and strong colored to the naked eye. The camera captures the colors much better than what the naked eye can see. Especially if the auroras are not super bright. I remember that Abbe and I chatted about this; and we were waiting for them to appear, but nothing happened around midnight - and we were just waiting and waiting. Until the time was 03:13 - and strong red auroras appeared at my window at the Nynäsvägen Highway - a major outburst. The party had begun !

The first photo - shows you the vast glare of the street lights along the highway, in comparison to the light levels of the Aurora, you realize that those were really strong.

The second image above, taking in the backyard of our house, shows the moon and planet Jupiter stood close together, and you can discern the open star cluster The Plejades in the sign of Taurus with the main star of Aldebaran. Also visible are the signs of Gemini and Auriga.

As I went back to the backyard of our house, there was this stunning scenery with the moon and red streams of Aurora coming from the same spot. It was dazzling I can assure you. But the displays become in so many ways fascinating, as the latter images will show...

The above photo is one of my favorite, showing the display right when I stood at close by gasol station with the "Three trees" but also a lot of glare from the surrounding light - but it worked photographically. Again The Moon and Planet Jupiter stood close together.

Nearby there was a no-mans area, with a little "wild" hill next to a park - which gave my excellent view over the surrounding. Today this place does not exist anymore, because they built an enormous big ugly area on top. The park used to be a a lovely little oasis within an ugly area of noise and cars. Now it is just even more ugly than ugly.

But here I stood, watching fascinated the night sky and it's red auroras - a display I had not seen since mid Nov 1989. That date was special - because it was the first time in my life I ever saw Northern Lights. Those were ruby dark red, coming directly from the sky above, falling down like rays and curtains, straight for 4 hours. (back then, I had no camera with me, while working as a Conductor at the Saltsjöbanan railway). So, this event from 6 Nov 2001 was - at for me personally - the first time since 1989 with a similar major display.

Around 05:00 the Aurora display finally subsided - an unusual late time when you think of that Auroras usually appear hours before midnight, and then usually subside around 01:30. But major outbreaks can change all that. By 05:15 there was only a very weak reddish glow in the sky, and then it all ebbed out. Boy did I feel happy ! Like super mega happy.

 

25 Sep 2002 (Greenland)

Rather totally unexpected to me, but I am sure far more common than I knew, was the occurrence of weak Northern Lights on my flight from Baltimore to Reykjavik, somewhere over Greenland. Now the problem with this display was that my camera, the Canon EOS D30 was absolutely garbage in terms of longtime exposure. Here it took a photo for 56 seconds at ISO 200... and it was noisy like hell.

Yet, I was happy like a little cookie !

 

1-2 Oct 2002 (Stockholm subway)

Autumn of 2002 was very active in terms of Auroral Activities. While at work, a minor storm broke out, making Northern Lights visible while I was driving the subway. Since I wasn't able to take images, I had to do it while driving. Well, you just press the camera against the window... that's all. And keep the shutter open. These Northern Lights went on until 04:30 at least - which was the last image i took from my window at the Nynäsvägen Highway.

Another, even smaller outbreak happened around midnight on 21-22 Oct 2002, but the images are nothing to write home about.

 

20 Nov 2003

It would take another year, until another major outbreak occurred over Stockholm, with an Auroral Output of fascinating 411 GW ! They started very early in the evening at around 17:00 and went on until midnight ! A major event. The display of Northern Lights shifted in character a lot. First out where rays and beams with many nice colors such as pink and violet. Here the first image I took once i arrived at the park.



While I was watching and taking photos of the Northern Lights, I called Perry, who was still at work - to come immediately to the park - in order to see the fantastic display. He had never seen Auroras in his life - so this was the first time.

So, I'll waited.

Then the scenery shifted around 18:00 - suddenly displaying the strongest Auroras OVER THE SOUTH horizon - which was rather odd. The power of the geomagnetic storm was so large and spread across major parts of the northern hemisphere, visible over Italy, Spain, France... that we suddenly had to look southwards in order to see the brightest auroras... in the south instead. Here the planet Mars was shining brightly over Stockholm's South horizon.

Perry must have been super fast, because at 17:57 he was already standing with me, watching the Northern Lights at the park nearby.

The Scenery once again shifted - and frankly - it turned out unspectacular - because what looks in a photo as intense green, was to the naked eye nothing else than a dark, very weakly greenish evenly illuminated sky. The whole sky glowed in green, but it was only with the camera it looked amazing. The beams and rays had gone away...

 

Phase II

We went home - but the Northern Lights went on. I went out anew, but only into the backyard of our house. There instead, I saw weak colored beams, which through the camera really came out beautifully. Like an water color painting. However, not as brilliant to the naked eye, but rather dull. Only in images the colors come to the fore...

 

Part III

I went out a third time, since the aurora were still going on - and this time Perry followed too. We went into the city with all its glaring lights. Here again; the display to the naked eye was far less pronounced compared to what you can get out from the digital images.

Before midnight, the visible Auroras subsided very quickly and the Auroras Oval over the Northern Hemisphere shrunk. The Storm was over.



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