On the night of May 27th, sky watchers across Canada and as far south as Pennsylvania
were treated to a beautiful light show - the aurora borealis.
Primarily seen as a greenish glow, low in the north sky, the aurora at times creates
long spikes or columns of green, red, blue and violet that brighten and fade.
This particular G3 geomagnetic storm was a result of a coronal mass ejection (CME)
that blew off the Sun on May 23rd. These billion ton clouds of charged particles
interacted with Earth's magnetic field producing the dance of light.
Gary Boyle aka The Backyard Astronomer was out all night imaging the cosmic show.
He says today's digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras are ideal to shooting
the northern lights and the starry sky. The advantage over the standard point and
shoot or cell phone cameras is the DSLR has a manual setting that allows you to
expose for many seconds. Along with a camera tripod and cable release, you too can
capture these moments in time forever. Cameras also register more colours than the
human eye. After all, pixels are free.
Gary can be reached via his website:
www.wondersofastronomy.com or on Twitter @astroeducator.